EAST Lancashire MEP Sajjad Karim said the re-election of German Martin Schulz as president of the European Parliament was a ‘stitch-up’.

Mr Karim, of Simonstone, came second in the presidential race and campaigned on a platform of reform and transparency of the EP.

However Mr Schulz, a Socialist MEP from the Parliament’s second largest political group, received 409 votes after his group supported Jean-Claude Juncker to be Commission president, Mr Karim said.

Mr Karim said he surpassed expectations and received 101 votes, 31 coming from outside of his political group.

Speaking from Strasbourg he said: “This is a stitch up where back room deals have kept the old status quo together behind a single candidate to keep reform at bay.

“The European Parliament has failed to heed the calls of the electorate who were asking for change.

“I wish Martin Schulz well as he makes important choices for the future of the European Parliament.”