A former UKIP MEP, who back in January was expelled from the party after refusing to be part of the multi-national group it joined in the European Parliament, has won her legal claim that the party discriminated against her because she was a lesbian.West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire had the party whip removed from her
after she refused to sit with her own party members in parliamentary meetings after stating some of UKIP's allies in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD
) grouping had "extreme views
". She has sat as a Non-Attached member ever since.
After being prevented from standing for UKIP as a parliamentary candidate in the May General Election, in November she was moved to lodged a lawsuit against the party claiming it discriminated against her, and she learnt the verdict at an employment tribunal held earlier today in Exeter, near where the Party’s head office is registered
Since UKIP offered no defence in the matter, a default judgment was made in Ms Sinclaire’s favour and a hearing to decide whether to award compensation is now set to take place on Wednesday 29th December.
According to a dispatch tonight from the Press Association
, the judgment, in which both UKIP leader Nigel Farage and fellow MEP Godfrey Bloom were both listed as respondents
, found that “the claim of sexual orientation discrimination is well founded
”.Ms Sinclaire alleges
she was "abused and intimidated
" by Mr Bloom in the hallways of the European Parliament – an allegation Mr Bloom denies and remains under investigation for.
The AP reports that the party failed to lodge a defence in the case because of “an administrative error
” and that an application for the judgment to be set aside “had been filed
”, but reacting to the verdict Ms Sinclaire is quoted as saying "I'm very saddened by how this has all turned out. I feel betrayed by the party.
“When I joined UKIP in 1994 it certainly wasn't a career move,
” she said. “I did my bit in building UKIP up to second in a national election and they have repaid me with discrimination.
In 2004, Ms Sinclaire surprised fellow party members when she outed herself in a letter to the gay newspaper The Pink Paper
, and in the same piece revealed that UKIP had a sizeable, but secret, homosexual membership.