Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

MP Jared O’Mara postpones plan to resign from Commons

The troubled Sheffield Hallam MP had announced his decision in July after a series of problems.

Jared O’Mara (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)
Jared O’Mara (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

By Dave Higgens, PA

Troubled MP Jared O’Mara has postponed his plan to resign from the Commons.

The Sheffield Hallam MP, 37, announced his decision in July to step down after a series of problems which saw him suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party and then resign from the party.

MPs cannot simply resign. If they want to leave the Commons they have to apply to be appointed to one of two ancients stewardships.

A Treasury spokesman said on Tuesday: “Jared O’Mara remains an MP after writing to the Chancellor asking to postpone his appointment to an office of the Crown.”

Jared O’Mara in a committee meeting (PA)

Mr O’Mara provided one of the shocks on the night in the 2017 general election when he ousted former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg from his Sheffield Hallam seat.

But the new MP’s political problems began a few months after his election when a series of sexist and homophobic online posts were uncovered which he had made when he was in his early 20s.

These included inviting the band Girls Aloud to an orgy and joking about the musician Jamie Cullum being “sodomised to death”.

After further revelations he had the Labour whip withdrawn.

In December 2017, Mr O’Mara said he had scaled back his activities on the advice of doctors and later said he made three suicide attempts during his suspension.

Labour later said it had readmitted Mr O’Mara after requiring him to attend training, but he then resigned from the party saying he had experienced “little to make me feel welcome, understood and accepted”.

Jared O’Mara replaced Sir Nick Clegg as MP for Sheffield Hallam (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Describing himself as “the first autistic MP in our history”, Mr O’Mara, who also has cerebral palsy, wrote: “I didn’t commit any crimes, yet I have been made unfairly to feel like a criminal.

“Nobody should be made to feel ashamed for mistakes they make when they are young.”

Soon after this he again stepped back from his work in the Commons on doctors’ advice.

In April this year, Mr O’Mara suspended case work in his constituency office for a month following reports all his staff had either been sacked or resigned.

In July, one of his staff, Gareth Arnold, used the MP’s own Twitter account to resign in public and criticise his former boss.

Mr O’Mara responded with a lengthy statement, saying: “I will be taking time out to receive professional help to deal with my mental health and personal issues regarding self-medication.

“I would like to start by apologising to my family, my friends and my constituents. I have not been honest with you about the depths of my depression and self-loathing.”

Mr O’Mara used his statement to blame Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for how he had been treated by the party. Mr Arnold later appeared to be still working for Mr O’Mara and it was he who announced that the MP intended to resign in September.

Last month, there were reports that Mr O’Mara had been arrested on suspicion of fraud along with Mr Arnold, who had been detained on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud.



From Belfast Telegraph