Why is Labour accepting the help of someone “willing to use homophobia to get elected”?

The choice of helpers in a council by-election isn’t normally of wider interest. But Labour in Redbridge, London are showing very poor judgement in their choice of helpers today. For out campaigning for Labour today is Miranda Grell, the Labour councillor who was booted off the council after she was convicted of smearing her Liberal Democrat opponent.

As the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights put it:

We are furious that a Labour candidate, Miranda Grell, was willing to use homophobia to get elected.

Discussing the sexuality of her opponent and spreading innuendo about his relationship was a disgrace and made her unfit for office.

To also tell lies that he was a paedophile is completely unforgivable and not only affected her opponent’s political career but his personal life too.

Quite. As I wrote after her appeal failed:

It’s worth remembering the awful personal tragedy behind this case – the terrible effect on Barry Smith, the Liberal Democrat councillor who was defeated by Miranda Grell: “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.”

Since her conviction, Miranda Grell has commented several times on the events and in the comments I’ve read I have never seen her express any regret, remorse or acknowledgement that she did something wrong.

Given that she was convicted of smearing her opponent in comments she made when out talking to the public campaigning for Labour, to welcome her back to go out talking to the public campaigning for Labour shows shockingly bad judgement.


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