They come in all shapes, sizes and colours of the political spectrum. But few politicians of any hue have shown the proven conviction of Member of the European Parliament Nikki Sinclaire.
Since Nikki became an MEP in 2009 she has been a thorn in the side of the European Union and the Government who would have rather swept the referendum issue under the carpet. Her ‘divorce’ from UK Independence Party (UKIP) due to Nigel Farage’s insistence of political union with right wing extremists across Europe led to an acrimonious split. Even in this Nikki showed her strength and determination achieving what UKIP had failed to do.
In 2011, when she and her team raised in excess of 100,000 signatures on a petition, calling for a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU. It pushed the issue to the forefront of the political agenda and onto the floor of the House of Commons. Her aim – somewhat disarmingly – is to make herself and all other MEPs redundant.
I was introduced to Nikki only a couple of years ago through a mutual friend, and have followed her political career with interest. You don’t have to agree with her politics to admire her stamina, determination and compassion for her constituents.
A rarity for politicians, Nikki actually puts more than £30,000 a year (audited) of her salary back into her work representing her constituents.
Unbelievably, she is the only one of seventy three UK MEPs to hold regular surgeries for the five million people she represents. She doesn’t expect them to go to her. She goes to them in towns and cities across the West Midlands in her adapted mobile surgery.
But there were was one great secret that Nikki never shared with anyone other than her close friends and family, and which she writes about here in poignant detail for the first time; Nikki Sinclaire was born a boy.
Hers is a powerful personal story. Yet she insists it is only one facet of her life, and though it tormented her childhood and teenage years, is one that no longer dominates her or her future.
So what does a woman do with all the harsh life experience Nikki has? Where does she channel that focus? She continues to campaign tirelessly for a referendum on Europe, arguing that British people deserve a say about whether this country remains within the EU. Nikki also rails against injustice whether in this country and abroad where she has taken some high profile stands on International Human Rights issues
As the first ‘sex change’ Parliamentarian in Britain Nikki Sinclaire has made history. But she is likely to be far happier, in the future, being known less as a statistic, than for her conviction politics.