Labour councillor and general election candidate Sean Morton appeared in court last Christmas Eve accused of a string of child sex offences.
Details of the case emerged as the Labour party launched their manifesto ahead of May’s council elections, when Morton, 35, was expected to stand again.
Insiders told how Morton, the party’s Moray spokesman on youth services and education, is a rising star in party ranks.
Morton, whose mum Louise, 54, is a Labour activist, has posted snaps of himself and figures including Ms Dugdale, Mrs Clinton and her daughter Chelsea.
He made no plea or declaration as he faced four charges in a private appearance at Elgin Sherif Court.
One charge relates to taking indecent photographs of a child.
A second concerns possession of such photos, while a third relates to “distributing or showing” rape pictures of children to other party members.
The final charge relates to Morton being in possession of the most extreme child pornography.
No details have been made public but the offence surrounds images of “extreme acts” such as taking or threatening a life, sever injury, rape and sexual activity with animals.
The councillor — who declares himself a volunteer at bodies including Victim Support — was elected in 2012 to the Fochabers, Lhanbryde and Spey Coast ward, after working as a parliamentary researcher.
The Crown Office confirmed Morton appeared on petition and was committed for further examination and bailed.
No date for his next appearance has been set.