Councillor denies paedophile slur against Lib Dem
A Labour politician accused of spreading rumours that her Lib Dem elector rival is a pedophile has told a court that she is the victim of a political conspiracy.
Miranda Grell, 29, was facing four charges under the Representation of the People Act 1983 of making a false statement of fact about a candidate’s personal character or conduct for electoral advantage.
Today two of the counts were dropped.
On Wednesday Waltham Forest magistrates court heard evidence from a member of the public and Ms Grell’s running mate that she made allegations of paedophilia against her Lib Dem opponent, Barry Smith.
Ms Grell told the court that there is a plot against her.
“These are politically motivated allegations by people,” she said.
“I do not know why they have done this but there is a clear connection between them and the Liberal Democrats.”
Ms Grell, 29, won a formerly safe Lib Dem seat on Waltham Forest council in last May’s elections.
She said the allegations against her were motivated by jealousy and resentment at her electoral success.
Mr Smith saw his majority of 600 overturned by Ms Grell, who won the Leyton ward council seat with a majority of 28.
Her Labour running mate in the council elections, Nicholas Russell, earlier told Waltham Forest magistrates that Ms Grell had a “disgusting homophobic attitude” while out canvassing voters.
He testified that he had heard her tell voters that her Lib Dem opponent Barry Smith had a 14-year-old Thai boyfriend.
Mr Smith is in a long-term relationship with a 39-year-old Malaysian man.
Ms Grell, who works in City Hall as a researcher for London’s Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron, has a strong support base in the Labour party, and is viewed as a high-flyer.
The court has finished hearing evidence and the case was adjourned until Friday 21st when a verdict is expected.