English Democrats candidate found guilty of harassing Anna Soubry
20 November 2019, 18:46 | Updated: 20 November 2019, 18:53
A woman who is competing against the Change UK leader in the general election has been ordered to stay away from the constituency where both are standing.
The English Democrats candidate for Broxtowe has been found guilty of harassing Ms Soubry and banned from campaigning in the Nottinghamshire constituency.
Amy Dalla Mura, 56, targeted the former Conservative MP between January and March this year, turning up at events and calling her a traitor on live television, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ordered the nationalist nominee to conduct her campaign from either elsewhere or over the internet and must not mention Ms Soubry by name whilst doing so.
The Brexiter remains free to criticise other parties' policies.
The Independent Group for Change leader quit the Tories in February after becoming a target for abuse following her vocal campaigning for Remain.
The court heard that the English Democrats candidate, from Hove, repeatedly interrupted Ms Soubry during an event in Parliament on 23 January.
Dalla Mura, who live streamed the incident on her phone, refused to stop interjecting which led to the meeting being abandoned.
The magistrate said the far-right candidate "knew that she had done something wrong and thought that she had got away with it."
Describing her behaviour as "oppressive and unacceptable," Mag Arbuthnot said Dalla Mura was "driven by anger at Ms Soubry's political views on Brexit" and that she had "caused harassment in the sense of alarm and distress."
The magistrate asked for a psychiatric report on Dalla Mura to be prepared ahead of her sentencing on 16 December.
In a separate incident, the court heard how the nationalist confronted Ms Soubry on 14 March while she was appearing on the BBC's Newsnight.
The now-Change candidate "looked troubled, very anxious and angry" as Dalla Mura again filmed her and called her a "traitor."
Just a week later she attempted to intercept the then-MP in Westminster, saying she wanted to "have a word," but was unable to find her.