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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Anti-gay accused 'is plot victim'
Miranda Grell
Miss Grell alleged the claims stem from anger over her electoral win
A Labour councillor accused of running a smear campaign against a gay Liberal Democrat rival has claimed she is the victim of a political conspiracy.

Miranda Grell, 29, denies she called a gay councillor a paedophile while campaigning for the Leyton ward in Waltham Forest, east London, last year.

She told Waltham Forest Magistrates' Court the claims were part of a plot.

Miss Grell denies four counts of making false statements about another candidate to gain electoral advantage.

Two of these counts have since been dropped.

'Politically motivated'

Miss Grell stood as a Labour candidate in last year's local elections and was the only Labour victory in the apparently unwinnable Liberal Democrat stronghold.

She said the allegation stemmed from unhappiness at her win.

"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."

The court heard she branded gay Liberal Democrat councillor Barry Smith a paedophile.

Spat at

Mr Smith, 56, has a long-term 39-year-old Malaysian partner and served on Waltham Forest Council between 2003 and 2006 before moving to northern England.

He has told the court that during the final weeks of canvassing he noticed a change of mood on the doorstep and people even slammed the door in his face.

In the months after his defeat he was abused, threatened and spat at in the street and on one occasion two men followed him home from a shop and accused him of having sex with children.

The case was adjourned until Friday 21 September when a verdict is expected.




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