Nikki Sinclaire wins UKIP sex discrimination case

Nikki Sinclaire Nikki Sinclaire now sits as an independent in the European Parliament

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A lesbian MEP has won a claim for sex discrimination against her former colleagues in UKIP.

Nikki Sinclaire was expelled by UKIP leader Nigel Farage for refusing to sit with the party's allies Liga Nord in the European Parliament.

She claimed some members of the Italian party were "homophobic".

A default judgement was made in her favour by Exeter Employment Tribunal after UKIP, which denies the allegations, failed to lodge a defence.

The party blamed an administrative error and said it had filed an application for the judgement to be set aside.

'Well founded'

It hopes to have the case thrown out before a hearing on 29 December to award compensation.

The default judgement, in which Mr Farage and UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom were named as respondents, said: "The claim of sexual discrimination is well founded."

West Midlands MEP Miss Sinclaire, who is openly lesbian, claims she was called "queer" by Mr Bloom in a hallway in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.

The claim is firmly denied by Mr Bloom and is being investigated.

Commenting on the tribunal ruling, Miss Sinclaire, who now sits as an independent, said: "I am extremely pleased with the tribunal's decision.

"The treatment I received from UKIP is a sad indictment of how politics in the UK has not kept up in the 21st Century."

In a statement, UKIP said the date for filling a response to Ms Sinclaire's action was "regrettably missed" due to "a simple administrative error".

A party spokesman: "The respondents have now filed an application to set aside the judgement.

"The respondents have always intended to defend this case vigorously and the application is accompanied by a robust response challenging almost every aspect of her case, including the tribunal's jurisdiction."

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