A lesbian MEP has won her discrimination case against UKIP.
Nikki Sinclaire, who represents the West Midlands, claimed that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation.
She was elected as a UKIP MEP last year but fell out with the party in January when she refused to sit with its EFD allies in the European Parliament.
She said that some EFD members, such as the Italian Lega Nord party, had “extremist views” and that her relationship with the then party leader, Nigel Farage, had broken down.
Ms Sinclaire, who now sits as an independent MEP after UKIP withdrew the whip from her, won her case on default because UKIP failed to offer a defence at Exeter Employment Tribunal.
The party said an administrative error meant it had failed to respond in time but said it had applied for the judgment to be set aside.
In her filing, Ms Sinclaire claimed that one UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, had called her a “queer” and that a party investigation was underway. Mr Bloom has denied making the remark and says he does not know of any investigation.
Ms Sinclaire said she was pleased at the tribunal’s decision.
She added: “I feel betrayed by the party. When I joined UKIP in 1994 it certainly wasn’t a career move. I did my bit in building UKIP up to second in a national election and they have repaid me with discrimination.”
In a statement, UKIP said: “The respondents have now filed an application to set aside the judgment.
“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.”
A further hearing will be held next week and compensation may be awarded.