Campaigners have criticised the European Parliament after it adopted a declaration on diversity in its own workplace which knowingly excluded sexual orientation.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association expressed surprise at the omission.

A draft resolution of the European Parliament’s Secretariat, the administrative arm of the political body, had included sexual orientation, but this was defeated by four votes to two, with two abstentions.

Deborah Lambillotte, co-chair of ILGA-Europe Executive Board said: “We are more than surprised by such a decision. The omission of sexual orientation by the Parliament seems to be matching recent bad scores on diversity, equality and anti-discrimination by some of the member states.

“The principle which is now an integral part of the EU body of law and compulsory for the member states was completely disregarded and ignored by a disgraceful vote by the European Parliament’s secretariat.”

The resolution details anti-discrimination principles within the workplace of the European Parliament. It states that employees should not be discriminated against based on sex, disability race, colour or ethnicity

Interestingly it also fails to mention age despite enforcing rules in member states against excluding people from work because they may be too young or old.