MP elect’s assault trial not til August

Former St Helens Council leader Marie Rimmer
Former St Helens Council leader Marie Rimmer
  • Ex-council boss WILL contest general election with assault charge hanging over her
  • She is accused of attacking Scottish independence campaigner on polling day
  • Denies charges and is set to stand trial in August

Marie Rimmer could be one of the town’s MPs by the time she stands trial accused of assault.

The former leader of St Helens Council (pictured) has already entered a formal not guilty plea after being accused of an assault at a polling station on the day of the Scottish independence referendum.

We’re looking at this closely and take it very seriously

Labour Party spokesman

She had been due to stand trial at Glasgow’s Sheriff Court last week, but the trial has now been adjourned until August.

Court staff said the case was adjourned because there were too many cases on at the court for them to get through the trials.

Rimmer, 61, 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 was among a number of high-profile Labour figures to make the journey north of the border 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 at the time: “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.”