Christine 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 Oddys 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-MPs 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, Labours acting regional director for the West Midlands said:
"We shall be contesting the industrial tribunal application and totally refute all
"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 Labours 84 Euro candidates in Britain
double the number in the last Euro elections in 1994.