A COUNCILLOR who accused the SNP of racial discrimination after she was removed from a list of approved MSP candidates has had a legal action under employment law rejected by a tribunal judge.

Yen Hongmei Jin, who quit the party over her concerns of racism, moved to sue the SNP after her name was taken off the list of approved candidates for this year’s May Holyrood elections last June “without explanation”.

Ms Hongmei Jin, who represents Lochar in Dumfries and Galloway, said she had first received word from SNP headquarters about a potential candidacy but was then later told she was placed on the list in error and would have to attend a further selection meeting.

She resigned after then being refused as a potential candidate and claimed party officials hindered her in efforts to become an SNP candidate in both the UK and Scottish Parliament elections because of her Chinese roots.

The SNP denied her allegations – which also related to a racially abusive email she received – but her claim of racial discrimination in a case believed to be the first of its kind against a political party in Scotland was rejected on the grounds of the employment tribunal having no jurisdiction.

Ms Hongmei Jin said she would challenge the decision and would campaign “to have her story told”.

Alastair Bryce, Ms Hongmei Jin’s agent, argued at the hearing in Edinburgh yesterday the claims should be heard at an employment tribunal in part because being placed on an approved candidacy list and then removed could be equated to being placed on a list by a qualifications board and then removed.

Calum MacNeill, QC, representing the SNP, opposed a call for an adjournment which Mr Bryce said could provide further evidence for Ms Hongmei Jin’s case, citing a senior judge south of the Border who had ruled in a previous case involving Labour that qualifications lists were based on professional merit but political candidates were chosen more on popularity and likelihood of being elected.

Tribunal Judge Peter Wallington, QC, ruled the tribunal had no jurisdiction for this reason and said Mr Bryce had accepted the English court had ruled that qualifications lists – such as a medical professionals’ register – and candidacy lists could not be likened in that context.

Ms Hongmei Jin said she was disappointed and added: “I feel the route to justice is blocked.”

She raised concerns there had not been an adjournment, which Mr Bryce had urged, so evidence on jurisdiction could be included in her case.

At the end of the hearing, Mr Wallington said there had been no indication of what kind of evidence was likely to have been provided.

Ms Hongmei Jin said she will challenge the outcome.

She said: “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.”

Ms Hongmei Jin added: “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.”

The SNP had stated before the case it was confident the claim would be dismissed, saying it strongly denied the claim.