Louis Stedman-Bryce, 44, a Brexit Party MEP for Scotland, said his treatment was part of the Parliament’s systematic attempt to “make things as uncomfortable as possible for eurosceptics”. The 44-year-old said his first visits to the Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels reminded him of being a “small child playing in the playground and I realised that I was the only black kid”. He insisted it was wrong for Brexiteers to be branded “racist, divisive and discriminatory” after spending time at the EU institution.
Mr Stedman-Bryce told Express.co.uk: “My own personal experience from my first week in Strasbourg has not been positive.
“I have found myself placed in a lower ground floor office, some distance from any of my colleagues who have all been put together.
“The Parliament also decided to sit me next to Kotleba – the People’s Party of Slovakia, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi group.
“I initially put this down to incompetence but was later told by several longer-serving MEPs not to underestimate the lengths that EU officials will go to make things as uncomfortable as possible for eurosceptics.”
Mr Stedman-Bryce is only one of 36 MEPs from “racial and ethnic minorities”, according to a study by the Brussels-based European Network Against Racism.
The organisation estimated that at least 10 percent of the EU’s population is made up of “racial and ethnic minorities”, but less than 5 percent of the European Parliament’s 751 MEPs are from the same group.
“Out of all the countries in Europe, the UK is one of the least discriminatory,” Mr Stedman-Bryce said.
“Scaremongers would have us believe that the UK will become an inward-looking racist society upon our exit from the EU, but this could not be further from the truth.
“In fact, it makes me proud to be a Brexit Party MEP to know we are the most representative political party in the European Parliament.
“It also makes me proud to be a citizen of the United Kingdom, knowing that contrary to what europhiles claim, when Brexit happens, it will actually be the EU that will be less diverse, and not the UK.”
The European Parliament refused to comment on the allegations made by Mr Stedman-Bryce.
An EU Parliament official said: “Regarding the plenary seat, the allocation of the specific seats in the NI part of the hemicycle is done by the Secretariat of the Non-attached.”
Brussels has often been criticised for its lack of diversity amongst its main institutions – previously sparking campaigns such as “Brussels too white”.
The bloc looks set to appoint its first woman president, with a vote on Ursula von der Leyen’s candidacy for head of the European Commission scheduled for next week.
European Council President Donald Tusk made finding a female candidate part of his mission when sketching out plans for the next round of EU top jobs.
Louis Stedman-Bryce is on Twitter as @Lstedmanbryce
Source link Google News