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[01 FEB 99] CHRISTINE ODDY MEP NEWS
Euro MP Oddy Takes Labour To Tribunal

Christine Oddy MEPChristine Oddy is set to make history by becoming the first Euro MP to haul the Labour Party before an industrial tribunal.

Miss Oddy, who has represented Coventry and North Warwickshire in Brussels for the last ten years, claims the Labour Party has effectively ended her political career under its new selection process for the June elections.

Miss Oddy’s constituency will be swallowed up in the new super-constituency of West Midlands. She has been placed seventh in a list of eight candidates, when only the top four are likely to win.

She is placed behind Eastenders actor Michael Cashman and claims that Party bosses loaded the list by ‘parachuting in’ London candidates. She believes she now has no chance of winning a seat in Brussels.

She has taken her case to an industrial tribunal in Birmingham claiming unfair dismissal, racial discrimination and sexual discrimination.

The Labour Party says it will contest the case and is confident of winning it. It has asked for and been granted an extra four weeks to prepare its defence.

Her claim for unfair dismissal centres on the procedures used by Labour to select the final eight candidates.

The allegation of racial discrimination is believed to focus on Ms Neena Gill, an Asian, who is chief executive of a housing association in London, and who was drafted in above Miss Oddy on the list.

The Euro-MP’s sexual discrimination allegation is believed to relate to the fact that she and Ms Gill are the only women on the list.

Miss Oddy said today:

"The Labour Party said it was going to do something to bring more women into politics, but there are two other women in the same position as myself."

But Roy Kennedy, Labour’s acting regional director for the West Midlands said:

"We shall be contesting the industrial tribunal application and totally refute all three charges.

"She has been re-selected as an MEP candidate for the West Midlands and will be part of the team. We regret she has chosen to take this action."

He said there were 35 women among Labour’s 84 Euro candidates in Britain – double the number in the last Euro elections in 1994.

RELATED ARTICLE:
POLITICAL FUTURE UNCERTAIN FOR ODDY - 16/12/98

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CWN / Politics / MEPs / Christine Oddy MEP / 01 Feb 99

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