MP elect denies assault

Marie Rimmer - entered a not guilty plea
Marie Rimmer - entered a not guilty plea

MP elect Marie Rimmer has pleaded not guilty to an assault at a polling station on the day of the Scottish independence referendum.

The 61-year-old, who is the Labour Party’s candidate to succeed Shaun Woodward as MP for St Helens South next year, was arrested and charged over an alleged bust-up as she added her backing to the ‘no’ campaign.

The West Park councillor - the former leader of St Helens Council - was among a number of high-profile Labour figures to make the journey north of the border last month to campaign against Scottish independence.

The alleged incident is believed to have taken place at lunchtime on Thursday, September 18, in the Shettleston area of Glasgow.

Coun Rimmer, who won the nomination to stand as Labour’s next candidate in St Helens South at the next general election, was held following a scuffle at a polling station.

At the time, she was campaigning along with a host of other Labour politicians - including current council boss Barrie Grunewald - as part of the ‘no’ campaign.

Coun Rimmer was deposed as council leader last year, but has been a councillor in St Helens for almost 30 years.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 61-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with an alleged assault on a female in an incident at the Shettleston Community centre in Amulree Street, Glasgow, at around 1pm.

“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

A Labour North West spokesperson said: “We’re looking at this closely and take it very seriously, but whilst there are ongoing legal proceedings we can’t comment any further.”

Rimmer entered a not guilty plea before Glasgow’s Sherriff Court last week and is due to appear before the same court for a trial on February 16, 2015.