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.
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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.