Amy Dalla Mura banned from campaigning in Broxtowe after targeting Soubry over Brexit
A Brexit supporter who is standing against the remainer Anna Soubry in the general election has been found guilty of harassing her and banned from campaigning in her constituency.
Amy Dalla Mura, 56, targeted Soubry between January and March this year, turning up at events and calling her a traitor on live television, Westminster magistrates court heard.
Soubry and Dalla Mura are standing in Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, Soubry for the Independent Group for Change and Dalla Mura for the English Democrats.
The court heard that on 23 January Dalla Mura, from Hove, attended an event in parliament where Soubry was speaking and repeatedly interrupted her while live-streaming the event on her phone. The meeting was eventually abandoned when she refused to stop.
Passing verdict, the chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said Dalla Mura “knew that she had done something wrong and thought that she had got away with it”.
Describing Dalla Mura’s behaviour as “oppressive and unacceptable”, she said her conduct was “driven by anger at Ms Soubry’s political views on Brexit” and she had “caused harassment in the sense of alarm and distress”.
Soubry, a former Conservative minister, became a target for abuse after vocally opposing Brexit. She quit the Conservative party in February over the issue.
Dalla Mura, who refused to give her name and address when asked in court, was ordered to stay away from the Broxtowe constituency as a condition of her bail and told she must conduct her election campaign from elsewhere and over the internet.
The magistrate said she was free to criticise other parties’ policies but must not mention Soubry by name in her electioneering.
There was laughter in the full public gallery when the magistrate asked for a psychiatric report on Dalla Mura be prepared before her sentencing on 16 December, four days after the election.
In addition to the January incident, the court heard that on 14 March Dalla Mura approached Soubry in parliament’s central lobby while she was appearing on the BBC’s Newsnight, calling her a “traitor” while again filming her.
The presenter, Nicholas Watt, said Dalla Mura “looked troubled, very anxious and angry. Anna Soubry looked very alarmed by this very hostile presence.”
A week later Dalla Mura tried to intercept the MP in Westminster, saying she wanted to “have a word”, but did not manage to find her.