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[16 DEC 98] CHRISTINE ODDY MEP NEWS
Political Future Uncertain For Oddy

Christine Oddy MEPNorth Warwickshire MEP Christine Oddy has been left in limbo over her political future.

The government had proposed to introduce a new proportional representation system which would have involved MEP's being selected from a "closed list" selected by party officials.

This plan was heavily rejected yesterday by House of Lords peers who voted for a Conservative amendment on the grounds that the government’s proposal included an undemocratic system.

This would have been a huge victory for Ms Oddy who previously said she would legally challenge her party's selection process, but the government look set to take further action.

Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Jay said her party now plan to invoke the Parliament Act to overrule the house and ensure that the bill becomes law.

This proposal sparked anger from conservative deputy leader in the Lords and constitutional affairs spokesman Lord MacKay.

He said:

"I invite the house to say to the government `We believe it should be the people's choice who represents us in Brussels and not the parties' choice."

If the Parliamentary Act is invoked, the bill could be passed by the end of January - the Government's deadline for it to come into effect for next June's European election.

The proposed system involves MEP's being chosen from a list selected by party officials, with Labour representatives occupying the top four slots in each area likely to win seats.

However Oddy is seventh in this area and has previously voiced concerns that constituents may suffer as a result of candidates who have been brought in from outside the locality - including former EastEnders star Michael Cashman.

Ms Oddy is currently out of the country and was unable to comment on yesterday’s developments.

MORE INFORMATION: Christine Oddy MEP   01203 552328

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CWN / Politics / MEPs / Christine Oddy MEP / 16 Dec 98

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