Labour sacks MEP after sexism claim

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The Independent Online
THE LABOUR Party sacked one of its members in the European Parliament yesterday after she accused the leadership of racial and sexual discrimination. Christine Oddy, an MEP for 10 years, has been dropped as a Labour candidate for next month's elections to the Strasbourg parliament. Party officials said she had been "suspended" after allegedly refusing to campaign alongside other Labour candidates.

Ms Oddy said she was "totally astonished" by the decision. "I do not know what the reasons are and do not know what I am supposed to have done."

The MEP for Coventry and Warwickshire North decided last year to take Labour to an industrial tribunal over the way it selected its candidates for the forthcoming 10 June European elections. Under the "closed list" system of proportional representation, the public will be able to vote only for a party rather than a candidate.

This gives huge power to the parties to decide which MEPs are elected. Ms Oddy was placed seventh on Labour's list of eight candidates in the West Midlands, giving her little chance of retaining her seat.

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