Voters can be forgiven for expecting to see famous names on their Mayoral ballot papers on 3 May, but residents of Hackney Central ward may see another one they recognise.
'Hackney heroine' Pauline Pearce, the woman who was filmed berating looters during the August riots/disturbances/scarytimes, is standing in a by-election for Hackney Council. Current Labour councillor Alan Laing is moving to Scotland, so his seat needs filling. Pearce is representing the Lib Dems, continuing their policy of recruiting recognised 'independents' who are seen as tough on crime (see also: Brian Paddick).
Whether Pearce's personal reputation is enough to counter the general backlash against the Liberal Democrats remains to be seen.