Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire vows to defy election ban

Nikki Sinclaire on her position within UKIP

An MEP for the UK Independence Party has hit back after being told she can not stand for the party again.

Nikki Sinclaire was accused of breaking UKIP rules after she quit its European Parliament grouping, accusing its partners of "extremist views".

UKIP's leader in Brussels Nigel Farage also claimed she had not disclosed that she had been made bankrupt in the past.

Miss Sinclaire denied this and said she planned to stand for the Eurosceptic party at the general election.

She told BBC2's Daily Politics that despite not facing any disciplinary procedures she had been told by party officials she could not use its logo or name in future elections.

She said UKIP's party secretary and press officers had been "fully aware" of her bankruptcy, which had "long since been discharged".

Internal row

Ms Sinclaire, one of 13 UKIP representatives in the European Parliament, has said her relationship with Mr Farage, the party's most prominent figure, had broken down.

She was responding to remarks made earlier this week by Mr Farage, who said he took a "dim view" of her decision to quit the Europe of Freedom and Democracy grouping and other actions.

Ms Sinclaire said she had been "very hurt" by his comments.

The MEP for the West Midlands, who was an unsuccessful candidate in UKIP's recent leadership contest, has accused some of the party's coalition partners in Brussels of holding anti-semitic views.

I want to continue within UKIP and fight for what it believes in
Nikki Sinclaire, UKIP MEP

The Europe of Freedom and Democracy group is dominated by UKIP and Liga Nord, an Italian party which is part of Prime Minister's Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition.

Miss Sinclaire said she did not sign up to the party alliance when she was elected and also questioned the transparency of the group's finances.

She also accused UKIP officials of excluding her from a meeting without giving her any chance to defend herself.

"I have not been through any disciplinary procedures," she told the BBC's Daily Politics Show. "I have had no right of reply."

She said Lord Pearson, who succeeded Mr Farage as leader in December, told her she would be able to remain as a UKIP representative outside the coalition and appealed to him to "honour" this.

"I want to continue within UKIP and fight for what it believes in."

However, she said she would not return to the EU grouping.

Party discipline

By leaving its EU coalition, UKIP said Ms Sinclaire had broken party rules and could not stand again for elected office as a UKIP member.

Ms Sinclaire had been selected to fight the Meriden seat at the next UK general election.

In a statement, UKIP's National Executive Committee said Ms Sinclaire had "dishonoured a pledge" to work within the group towards the party's goal of leaving the EU.

"UKIP is saddened and disappointed at the news that Nikki Sinclaire has chosen to leave UKIP's group in the European Parliament," the body's chairman, Paul Nuttall, said.

He said she had committed "a separate breach of party discipline" by not revealing important information at the time of her selection.

Mr Farage said on Wednesday that UKIP would taking a "tough action" against Ms Sinclaire.

Ms Sinclaire recently stood for the leadership of the party, vacated by Mr Farage after he stood down to challenge Commons Speaker John Bercow in the general election.



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