I had hoped that I might start back from my holidays with a more positive story but this story caught my eye in the Times yesterday.
A Labour councillor was yesterday found guilty of falsely accusing her political rival in an election campaign of being a paedophile and having sex with teenage boys.
Miranda Grell, 29, had been considered a rising star in Labour ranks and had been photographed with high-profile figures such as Cherie Blair, Jesse Jackson and John Reid. She beat her opponent Barry Smith to the previously safe Liberal Democrat seat in the 2006 local election. Mr Smith, 56, a prominent member of the council cabinet who has a long-term, 39-year-old Malaysian partner, lost his seat by 28 votes.
Ms Grell, a 29-year-old aide to the Deputy Mayor of London, was found guilty of two counts under the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983 of making false statements about another candidate to gain electoral advantage.
She was fined Â£500 for each offence and ordered to pay Â£3,000 towards the prosecution costs.
Ms Grell wept as the sentence was passed. The public gallery, packed with family and friends, gasped in shock.
Educated at Manchester Uni and the LSE the woman is bright one assumes. She works for the Mayor’s deputy Nicky Gavron and is on the Executive Committee of Compass, the hard left pressure group that has been at the centre of attempts to smear Boris Johnson. On her website there are numerous pictures of Grell with various Labour bigwigs including the Milliband brothers, Harriet Harperson, Caroline Flint, etc and stories of her attending Labour events.
No doubt lots of researchers and aides will have been trying to call Grell over the weekend to get their bosses’ pictures pulled from Grell’s look-at-me website.
I lambasted Grell earlier in the year when she appeared on the Radio 4 Today programme to speak for the notion of giving more cash to councillors, see previous posting. I was not impressed with her then and now I can only conclude that there is a hole where her moral compass should be. It seems she was bright and clever and thought that she could follow in the footsteps of her heroes, Labour MPs Dianne Abbot and Dawn Butler. All she had to do was get elected. In the process she did not mind throwing mud at the successful and hard working LibDem incumbent.