Polling station credit Martin Deutsch
Photograph: Martin Deutsch

A 28-year-old woman has been found guilty of deliberately misleading Hackney voters during local government elections two years ago.

Diana Danescu, of South Woodford, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, ordered to pay £2,000 and handed six months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, after it was found she submitted a number of names and signatures of people who had not truly assented to the candidates being nominated to stand.

Danescu, who informed local electors that she represented other organisations such as the Labour and Green parties and Hackney Council, was found guilty following a trial at Southwark Crown Court on 11 September of 16 offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983, causing or permitting a false signature to be included on a nomination form.

DC Jim Morrison of the MPS Special Enquiry Team said: “Diana Danescu deliberately misled the electors of Hackney in the run up to the local government elections in May 2018.

“In addition, she submitted names of electors who had not signed the nomination papers. The Metropolitan Police is committed to maintaining the integrity of the democratic process.

“I would like to thank people living and working in Hackney who came forward and provided evidence at the trial.”

A spokesperson for Hackney Conservatives declined to comment on the case.

Danescu was employed by Conservative Campaign Headquarters as Borough Campaign Manager. The Met has said that, acting in a rogue capacity, she took up the role of election agent for 29 Conservative Party candidates in the constituency of Hackney South & Shoreditch during the lead-up to London local government elections in May 2018.

The conviction was made after an investigation by the Met’s Special Enquiry Team, involving 32 prosecution witnesses in a five-week trial, which heard that electors were misled after they were provided false information on which political party was being canvassed for by Danescu.

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