MEP Nikki Sinclaire says she was “accepted as a lesbian in UKIP” – despite having won a discrimination case against the party in 2010.
The MEP, who came out publicly as transgender yesterday, told The Sun: “I was accepted as a lesbian in UKIP. By contrast, some of the worst homophobia I’ve seen in politics has come from the Liberal Democrats.”
In 2010, the then UK Independence Party MEP Godfrey Bloom was accused by Ms Sinclaire of abusively calling her “queer”. UKIP and Mr Bloom denied the claims. It was alleged Mr Bloom made the slur in a hallway in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.
Ms Sinclaire subsequently left the UK Independence Party having refused to sit with the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group in which UKIP is part of in the European Parliament.
The MEP stated her displeasure at what she claimed to be some of the racist, extremist parties that belong to the EFD group.
UKIP did not lodge a defence; therefore the ruling went against the party by default.
Reacting to the ruling at Exeter Employment Tribunal, she said at the time: “The treatment I received from UKIP is a sad indictment of how politics in the UK has not kept up in the 21st Century.”
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.”