Lesbian UKIP MEP barred from standing for re-election

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A lesbian UKIP MEP who left the party’s European grouping has been told she cannot stand for election under her party.

Nikki Sinclaire, an MEP for the West Midlands, was told she had broken party rules, although she has not been disciplined.

She announced last week she was leaving the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group because of some members’ “extremist” views. She also cited a breakdown in her relationship with UKIP’s leader in Europe Nigel Farage.

Sinclaire had accused the Italian party in the grouping, Lega Nord, of anti-Semitism, violence and the espousal of a single European policy on immigration.

In response, UKIP’s National Executive Committee said she would not be allowed to fight for a seat in Meriden, Warwickshire, in the general election. She was due to stand against sitting Conservative MP Caroline Spelman.

The body’s chairman, Paul Nuttall, said Sinclaire had “dishonoured a pledge” to work with the party’s European grouping.

He said she had committed “a separate breach of party discipline” by not revealing information. It was alleged she did not declare she had been made bankrupt in the past.

Speaking on BBC2’s Daily Politics show, she denied this and said she had not been given a “right of reply”.

She vowed she would not return to the European grouping, but said: “I want to continue within UKIP and fight for what it believes in.”

Sinclaire recently came third in the race for the UKIP leadership after Nigel Farage stepped down to concentrate on challenging Speaker John Bercow in his Buckinghamshire seat. She was elected as one of two West Midlands MEPs for UKIP last year.