SNP councillor who accused party of racism fails at employment tribunal over lack of jurisdiction

An SNP councillor who accused the party of racial discrimination after it removed her from a list of approved MSP candidates has had her action rejected by an employment tribunal on the basis it lacked jurisdiction.Yen Hongmei Jin brought the action following the removal of her name from the list of approved candidates for May’s Holyrood election “without explanation” after apparently being placed on it in error.Ms Hongmei Jin claims her efforts to stand at Holyrood and Westminster were scuppered by party officials because she is ethnically Chinese.

The SNP denied the allegations, including that she was sent a racially abusive email.

However, the councillor said she would challenge the ruling.

Alastair Bryce, for Ms Hongmei Jin, said her initial listing and removal was equivalent to being placed on a list by a qualifications board before being removed – giving the employment tribunal jurisdiction.

Westwater Advocates’ Calum MacNeill QC, for the SNP, opposed Mr Bryce’s call for adjournment and cited an English judge who said that while qualification lists were decided on professional merit, political candidacy was a matter of popularity.

Tribunal judge Peter Wallington QC ruled the tribunal lacked jurisdiction, adding that Mr Bryce accepted the distinction between qualification and candidacy lists.

Ms Hongmei Jin said:  “I feel the route to justice is blocked” and expressed concern that there was no adjournment, preventing evidence on jurisdiction being included.

She added: “I feel they should have considered a second hearing so at least we could better prepare.

“This is now a public interest case and I will start a campaign.”

“I need to get my case heard.

“We are only at the start. There is evidence that still needs to be heard and questions that still remain to be answered.”