Monday, May 07, 2007

Labour-Charged with making false statements

There has been a groundswell of support for East London councillor Miranda Grell who has been accused of making a false statement about a political opponent.

Grell, 28, has been charged under the Representation of the People Act 1983 with making a false statement about the character or conduct of her opponent, the Liberal Democrat Barry Smith.

Grell is accused influencing the 2005 election by calling Smith a paedophile and claiming that he slept with under-age Thai boys.

Appearing in court on 17 April, Grell emphatically denied the charges.

She said in a statement on her website: “I am extremely grateful for the strong backing of my colleagues in the local, regional and national Labour party; colleagues from other political parties; and colleagues of no political party, for their firm and unequivocal support regarding this situation.

I have had to live with various attempts to smear my good name since last year’s election. Despite this, I have got on with the job that the good people of Leyton ward elected me to do, which has been to serve you in our community and in our town hall.”

Her court appearance was supported by dozens of community activists and politicians, including her local MP Harry Cohen, and gay rights activists.

The hardworking Grell has built up a popular reputation in her local Leyton ward, as well as nationally, and is widely tipped to play a prominent role in national politics in the future.

She currently works as a researcher to London deputy mayor Nicky Gavron.

Smith, a former local cabinet member, lost his 600-vote majority last year, when Grell took one of three ward seats from the LibDems for the first time in twenty years.

Published: 03 May 2007

1 comment:

The Godfather said...

This is the exact same tactic used by labour party activists in Lincoln during the local elections. We filed a complaint to the police but as yet have still not heard anything.