ANGER over ex-councillor Miranda Grell's behaviour during last year's Waltham Forest Council elections has been voiced by gay rights campaigners.

Following the failure of her appeal against her conviction for smearing Barry Smith and telling people he was a paedophile, the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (LGBT) has issued the following statement: "The Labour Party has a proud record of equal rights and promoting gay equality.

"Over the last ten years the Labour government has transformed Britain into a more equal and tolerant place.

"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.

"While LGBT Labour has not commented during the trial and appeal, we have been in private contact with senior officers of the Labour Party to express our anger at her behaviour and demand that the Party treat these allegations very seriously.

"Now that the appeal has been dismissed and her conviction upheld we feel it is important that party take immediate action."

Cllr Katie Hanson, co-chair of LGBT Labour said: "This kind of behaviour has no place in a civilised society and brings both the party and politics in general into disrepute. Homophobia is completely at odds with everything the Labour party stands for.

"She has had her chance to defend herself and she has been found guilty.

"Equality is not optional for Labour Party members or representatives and all forms of homophobia are unacceptable in our Party.

"Following the failure of the appeal there should be immediate action"

Barry Smith told the court at Grell's trial that he and his partner were forced to move away from Waltham Forest because of the abuse he enduring in the aftermath of the election.