Brexiteer called out for claiming Brexit Party was ‘most diverse’ in European Parliament
PUBLISHED: 09:11 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:14 08 June 2020
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A former Brexit Party MEP has claimed her party was “the most diverse” in the European Parliament – but a closer look at a variety of contexts suggests otherwise.
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The claims came from Belinda de Lucy, as part of a tweet complaining that the media “accused” the Brexit Party of racism on a regular basis.
The tweet was sent in response to a tweet from the official account for Sophy Ridge on Sunday in which the presenter asks health secretary Matt Hancock how many black people there are in the current cabinet - to which Hancock says there is a “whole series” of people from this background.
De Lucy’s tweet read: “Hey Sophy, we had the most diverse party in the whole of the EU Parliament, and it didn’t stop the constant accusation and insinuations from the mainstream media that we were racists.
“It’s a false narrative that is pushed on anyone not left wing.”
Unsurprisingly, Twitter did not support her claims.
Responses to the Brexiteer’s tweet included “have you tried not being racist”.
One user tried to explain to de Lucy that BAME MEPs as a proportion of the total MEPs show Brexiteers were far from being the “most diverse party”.
De Lucy replied: “In the EU Parliament” - to which the user said: “I know. That is why I said MEPs”.
An analysis carried out by The New European found that, out of the main national parties in the UK which had MEPs following the May 2019 European Parliament elections, the Brexit Party had the smallest percentage of BAME MEPs – only 10% of their members in the European Parliament were not white.
By comparison, Labour had 22% BAME MEPs, while the Green Party had 14% and the Lib Dems had 13%.
The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) found, in the light of last year’s EP elections, that the UK is the country with the biggest number of minority ethnic MEPs. However, the number is still very small at only eight MEPs, considering the UK had 73 representatives between 2019-2020.
Because of Brexit, which Nigel Farage’s organisation was built on, the number of both ethnic minorities and people of colour will go down 1% after the UK’s exit from the European Union – resulting in 4% and, respectively 3% of the European Parliament being made of each group.
The Brexit Party also fared the worst in terms of gender diversity out of the main UK parties in EP – 72% of the party’s MEPs were men, as compared to 50% of the Tories, 38% of the Lib Dems and 29% of the Greens.
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