Remember Miranda Grell? She was the Labour councillor in Leyton, Waltham Forest, wh0, in 2008, was convicted of election malpractice after she spread rumours that her LibDem opponent was a gay paedophile. Her own running-mate was so disgusted that he testified against her, as did other Labour constituents. The story was covered by Harry’s Place at the time if you want to revisit the sordid details. Her Wikipedia entry also has a handy summary.
Grell appealed but her conviction was upheld. She was barred from public office for five years. The scandal forced her to resign as an assistant to (then) London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s deputy, Nicky Gavron.
But now she’s back. She’s all smiles and back in the press as the development officer at Hackney Law Centre rubbing shoulders with celebrity Labour Party supporters like TV’s Baldrick, Tony Robinson.
Now you may think it is surprising that a convicted criminal – particularly one who stooped to exploiting the “gays are paedophiles” meme for electoral advantage – would be qualified for a job as a development officer for a law centre particularly focused on helping the marginalised. But then again, one of the HLC’s patrons is none other than Nicky Gavron, Grell’s former boss at City Hall.
Let’s face it; the double standards Peter Tatchell spoke about at the time are clearly manifest now. A party-politician found guilty of using crude and vile racism against an opponent would never be forgiven, much less helped along their career by their colleagues. Homophobia is excusable and forgiven. Miranda Grell is on her way back.