MEPs’ decision to overturn the recommendation of Yves Mersch to the executive board of the European Central Bank was condemned by London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis.

The position has been vacant since José Manuel González-Páramo stepped down in May and a successor is urgently needed to help solve the eurozone sovereign-debt crisis.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles has led the campaign to block Mr. Mersch’s nomination on the basis of the lack of female representation at the ECB. Mrs. Bowles is bidding to be the next Governor of the Bank of England and believes that appointing a woman and an outsider as Bank of England governor would restore faith in the banking system.

Conservative spokesman for Women’s Rights in the European Parliament Marina Yannakoudakis MEP condemned the parliament’s refusal to endorse Mr. Mersch.

She said: “In the middle of the euro crisis, it is irresponsible play gender politics with an appointment to the ECB board.

“To try and veto a qualified candidate a central bank governor, no less on the basis of his gender is nothing short of discrimination.

“The position has been open since May and parliament’s delaying tactics mean that it will now stay open for months to come.

“EU citizens men and women alike will not thank MEPs for procrastinating and posturing as the economic slump deepens.”