A Labour councillor has been found guilty of falsely branding a Liberal Democrat rival a paedophile and telling electors he had sex with teenage boys.
Miranda Grell slurred gay Lib Dem candidate Barry Smith while campaigning for the Leyton ward in Waltham Forest Council, east London, in 2006.
Grell, 29, was convicted by magistrates of two counts of making false statements about another candidate.
She was handed a £1,000 fine and will be forced to vacate her seat.
Grells was subsequently defended by Labour bloggers and it was announced that the Labour Party would fund her appeal.
Having taken flak for bankrolling the legal appeal of Miranda Grell, the "rising star" black Labour councillor convicted of making false paedophilia slurs against a gay rival, party chiefs have abruptly washed their hands at the 11th hour.
With the appeal by Grell, 29, due to be heard in court today, Labour told Pandora yesterday that the party was backing her case to the tune of £30,000 – only to perform an embarrassing volte-face 41 minutes later.
"Following legal advice in the last few days, the Labour Party today withdrew its support for Miranda Grell's appeal," said a flustered spokeswoman, admitting that Grell had benefited from party dosh "up until this point".