Euro-MPs are expelled from Socialist Group

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The Independent Online
Two "Old" Labour Euro-MPs have been expelled from the Socialist Group of the European Parliament. Ken Coates and Hugh Kerr, who last week attacked Tony Blair's plans for welfare cuts, were told by the group's leader yesterday that their application to sit with Green members of the Strasbourg assembly disqualified them from continued membership as Socialists.

They are also barred from standing in the next Strasbourg elections as "Independent Labour" candidates, Pauline Green, the Socialist leader, said. The Labour Party's leadership in the European Parliament also told the rebels their action automatically disqualifies them from membership of the EPLP. Complete expulsion from the Labour Party could now follow when the National Executive Committee meets at the end of January.

Mrs Green paid tribute to the work of the two, particularly Mr Coates (Nottingham North and Chesterfield), who has conducted extensive research into unemployment throughout Europe.