A LEADING Yorkshire Euro-MP has hit back at what he described as "mischievous and misleading" claims from Friends of the Earth about the way Euro-MPs vote on environmental issues.

Yorkshire and Humber Euro-MP David Bowe, Labour's European spokesman on the environment, accused the organisation of "turning serious environmental policy issues into little more than a cheap - and inaccurate - publicity stunt".

His anger follows a Friends of the Earth's ratings list claiming to compare the voting records of Members of the European Parliament.

Mr Bowe: "It really is a pity that Friends of the Earth prefer grabbing cheap headlines to looking properly at how Europe as a whole - and Euro-MPs in particular - have given the lead time after time on some of the most important measures to protect and improve our environment.

"For my part I am more than happy to be judged on my record."

He said he had played a leading role in introducing some of the toughest environmental legislation in the world.

"I am also proud that on my home territory, here in Yorkshire the impact of European legislation, backed by Labour Euro-MPs like myself, has ensured that we now have amongst the best beaches in the country.

"It is proof positive that we really do make a difference, " he said.