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Jared O'Mara

Jared Cain O'Mara (born 15 November 1981)[1] is a British politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP)[2] for the constituency of Sheffield Hallam since 8 June 2017, and was elected as the Labour candidate.[3]

Jared O'Mara
MP
Official portrait of Jared O'Mara crop 2.jpg
Official Parliamentary portrait, June 2017
Member of Parliament
for Sheffield Hallam
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded by Nick Clegg
Majority 2,125 (3.8 %)
Personal details
Born Jared Cain O'Mara
(1981-11-15) 15 November 1981 (age 36)
Citizenship United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Independent (2018-)
Labour (until 2018)
Alma mater Staffordshire University

After joining Parliament, O'Mara became a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, but resigned in October 2017, following the publication of offensive comments about women and gay men that he had made in 2009 and earlier.[4][5]

O'Mara was suspended from the Labour Party on 25 October 2017, following further reports of online comments made before his election that have been described as racist,[6] homophobic and misogynistic.[4] O'Mara was reinstated in the Labour Party in July 2018,[7] but resigned from the party nine days later. He now sits as an independent MP.[8]

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

O'Mara was born in Sheffield.[9] He has cerebral palsy hemiparesis and is on the autism spectrum.[10][11] He was educated at Tapton School, in the city's Crosspool suburb,[12] and graduated from Staffordshire University with a first class honours degree in Journalism.[13] Before entering politics, he was a local school governor and had volunteered for Sheffield-based disability information services and charities.[13]

With friends, he ran West Street Live, a bar and music venue in Sheffield.[14]

O'Mara had stood as a Labour candidate in various Sheffield council elections.[13][15][16][17] He supported Jeremy Corbyn's election as Leader of the Labour Party in 2015 and 2016,[18] was a Momentum supporter and was backed by them during the 2017 election.[19]

Parliamentary careerEdit

In the 2017 general election, O'Mara contested the constituency of Sheffield Hallam, held by Nick Clegg, the former Liberal Democrat leader and former Deputy Prime Minister.[20] He was selected in an emergency selection process for the snap election under the control of the National Executive Committee and regional boards, rather than by the local constituency party.[21]

His campaign benefited from a national surge in the Labour vote and from university students in the constituency.[13][22] It has been claimed that Clegg was thought to be too anti-Brexit by voters, although Sheffield Hallam was estimated to have voted Remain in the 2016 European Union Referendum, and O'Mara supports Remain as well.[14]

O'Mara's campaign focused on disabled people's rights, protecting public services and on his personal background in Sheffield.[18] He won the seat with a majority of 2,125 votes, overturning Clegg's previous majority of 2,353 votes. The result was considered one of the most important seat changes of the night; O'Mara had not expected to win the seat.[3][14] His acceptance speech called for politicians to do more to stand up for disabled people.[23]

Given his disability, the buildings of the House of Commons have presented problems for O'Mara as the terms of the Equality Act 2010 are yet to be met.[24]

O'Mara asked his first written question in October 2017.[25]

Labour whip suspensionEdit

O'Mara became a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee in September 2017.[2] Following revelations of offensive comments he had made before becoming an MP, he resigned from the committee the following month.[26]

A series of derogatory comments about women and gay men posted by O'Mara on websites over a decade before he became an MP were revealed by the Guido Fawkes blog on 23 October 2017.[27][28] He commented about the Girls Aloud pop group: "I advise you to sack Sarah and the remaining four members (Nicola, Cheryl, Nadine and Kimberley) come have an orgy with me"; and he said that the 2003 winner of Pop Idol, Michelle McManus, had "only won because she was fat".[5][27][29]

He has also been accused of making homophobic comments including referring to gay men as "poofters" and "fudge packers" and referring to jazz musician Jamie Cullum as a "conceited cunt" who should be "sodomised with his own piano".[5][30][31] O'Mara apologised "if his comments caused offence" and resigned from the Women and Equalities Select Committee.[5][31]

The following day, O'Mara was accused by Sophie Evans, a Sheffield bar worker whom he had met through an online dating app, on BBC Two's Daily Politics of having "made transphobic slurs" towards her in March 2017, and of saying in the same incident that she was an "ugly bitch".[32][33] O'Mara denied the allegation.[34] On the same day, it also emerged that he had been posting derogatory comments about children in Sheffield and appeared to advocate corporal punishment to deal with delinquent youth.[35] Following the emergence of the comments to Evans, the Labour Party announced an investigation into O'Mara's conduct, but stopped short of suspending him from the party.[36]

Further revelations were made public on 25 October 2017. On a Morrissey fan site in 2002, he was found to have made xenophobic insults, saying that Danes were "pig shaggers" who "practised bestiality" and referring to Spaniards as "dagos".[37] O'Mara, when reviewing the Arctic Monkeys in November 2004, made several sexual comments including how "sexy little slags" danced to the band's songs.[38] These revelations resulted in O'Mara being suspended from the Labour Party and therefore having the party whip withdrawn.[4]

It was reported on 15 January 2018 that O'Mara had not spoken publicly in his constituency since his apology on 23 October. After the party whip was suspended, he cancelled his constituency surgery.[39] In December 2017, a press statement explained that his leave was on the advice of his GP, who had discouraged him from attending Parliament, although O'Mara continued to deal with his constituents' casework.[40] After three months' absence, O'Mara returned to the House of Commons on 17 January 2018 and voted on the report stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.[41]

Reinstatement and resignationEdit

On 3 July 2018, it was announced that O'Mara would be readmitted to the Labour Party, following a review by its National Executive Committee disputes panel; this review had decided to issue O'Mara a formal warning with a mandatory requirement to attend training, rather than refer the issue to the National Constitutional Committee which has the power to expel members.[7] The decision was criticised by local Liberal Democrats, the closest challengers to Labour in Sheffield Hallam.[42]

In an interview with ITV following his readmission, O'Mara said that he had made three attempts on his life during his suspension and had developed an anxiety disorder.[11][43][44][45] He also revealed that he is on the autism spectrum,[11][46] and believes that he is the first autistic MP in history.[47] O'Mara restated his apology[46] and asked for forgiveness from his constituents and the country.[11][48] He refused to call a by-election and promised to make his maiden speech in July 2018.[11][49] On 12 July 2018, O'Mara announced his resignation from the Labour Party.[8][50][51] He said that he had "not been listened to or given a fair investigation" following his suspension, and that the party "no longer shares [his] commitment to the true definition of equality and compassion."[8][50] Offering to help constituents with casework, he suggested that he would not step down as an MP.[52] Despite his resignation, the Labour Party affirmed that it would continue to provide support for O'Mara; this was on the orders of Corbyn, who was concerned for O'Mara's welfare.[53][54][55] On 18 July 2018, O'Mara announced that he would step back from his parliamentary duties on the advice of his GP.[56] This coincided with a series of crucial votes on the Brexit negotiations, for which reason O'Mara had unsuccessfully applied to vote by proxy.[47][55]

O'Mara has never asked an oral question, and made his maiden speech on 24 July 2018,[57] the day before the start of the summer recess.[58] He was the 84th and final MP of the 2017 intake to make a maiden speech; the 83rd, David Duguid, spoke in November 2017.[59][60][61]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Biography for Jared O'Mara". MyParliament. 
  2. ^ a b "Jared O'Mara MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Bodkin, Henry. "Nick Clegg 'loses seat' amid Liberal Democrat slump in Sheffield Hallam". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "Labour suspends MP Jared O'Mara after online comments". BBC News. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d Elgot, Jessica (23 October 2017). "Labour MP quits equality committee over homophobic posts". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Buchan, Lizzie (25 October 2017). "Jared O'Mara: Labour MP suspended by party after series of offensive comments revealed". The Independent. Retrieved 1 April 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Elgot, Jessica (3 July 2018). "Labour reinstates suspended MP Jared O'Mara". the Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c "Reinstated MP quits Labour Party". BBC News. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018. 
  9. ^ O’Mara, Jared. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 14 February 2018.   
  10. ^ "A bit about me - Jared O'Mara". Sheffield Labour Party. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara reveals he tried to take his own life during Labour Party suspension". ITV News. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  12. ^ Tim Carr; Iain Dale; Robert Waller. The Politicos Guide to the New House of Commons 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d Howes, Scarlet (9 June 2017). "Meet MP Jared O'Mara who ousted Nick Clegg in shock election result". The Mirror. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c Cooke, Rachel (18 June 2017). "Jared O'Mara, the pub-owning first-time MP who won Nick Clegg's seat". The Observer. Retrieved 7 July 2017. 
  15. ^ "2004 Sheffield Council election results". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "2015 Sheffield Council election results". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "2016 Sheffield Council election results". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  18. ^ a b Taylor, Harry (1 June 2017). "Labour's Hallam candidate says Liberal Democrat's Nick Clegg doesn't care about Sheffield". South Yorkshire Briefing. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "Momentum Sheffield | Campaign Training Session: Sunday 14th May – Crookes". 25 October 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  20. ^ Moore, Alex (2 May 2017). "Labour selects Jared O'Mara to challenge Nick Clegg in Sheffield". The Star. Sheffield. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  21. ^ "General election 2017: Can parties select candidates in time?". BBC News. 22 April 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  22. ^ Horton, Helena (9 June 2017). "First-time MP who beat Nick Clegg 'bought a new suit from Tesco' as shock result emerged". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  23. ^ Windham, Dan (12 June 2017). "This response from first time Sheffield MP Jared O'Mara to a career advisor twenty years ago is inspiring". The Star. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  24. ^ Pring, John (6 July 2017). "Disabled MP forced to miss Commons debates because he has nowhere to sit". Disability News Service. Retrieved 7 July 2017. 
  25. ^ https://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?s=section%3Awrans&pid=25636&pop=1&o=o
  26. ^ "Jared O'Mara: Labour MP resigns from equalities committee after series of sexist comments revealed". The Independent. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  27. ^ a b "Labour MP Jared O'Mara quits select committee role over offensive online comments". ITV News. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  28. ^ Elgot, Jessica (24 October 2017). "Labour MP who posted offensive comments 'merits second chance'". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  29. ^ Minelle, Bethany (23 October 2017). "Labour MP Jared O'Mara says he's 'ashamed' of derogatory remarks about celebrities". Sky News. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  30. ^ Maguire, Patrick (23 October 2017). "Labour MP facing dismissal from equalities post invited Girls Aloud to have an orgy in misogynist online posts". The Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  31. ^ a b "Labour MP mocked 'fudge packers and poofters' and lashed out at gay 'heterophobes'". Pink News. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  32. ^ Mann, Sebastian; Proctor, Kate (24 October 2017). "Jared O'Mara: Under fire Labour MP called woman 'ugly b****' just weeks before he was elected". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  33. ^ Walker, Peter (24 October 2017). "Woman claims MP Jared O'Mara verbally abused her this year". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  34. ^ Horton, Helena (24 October 2017). "Jared O'Mara refuses to resign over sexist comments - but suggests Conservatives who make same remarks should step down". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  35. ^ "Jared O'Mara Said Sheffield Children Are Into Smoking Crack And Stealing From Charity Boxes". www.buzzfeed.com. 
  36. ^ Buchan, Lizzie (24 October 2017). "Labour Party announces investigation into Jared O'Mara MP over verbal abuse claims". The Independent. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  37. ^ Maguire, Patrick (25 October 2017). "Labour MP Jared O'Mara's 'sexist abuse of barmaid'". The Times. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  38. ^ "Jared on "Sexy Little Slags" and Teenage Girls Being "Fingered" - Guido Fawkes". order-order.com. 
  39. ^ Burn, Chris (15 January 2018). "Sheffield's missing MP: How Jared O'Mara's political dream became a nightmare". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 18 January 2018. 
  40. ^ "MP Jared O'Mara advised by GP not to attend Parliament". BBC News. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  41. ^ Line, Harriet; Lister, Sam (17 January 2018). "Jared O'Mara: Labour MP returns to Commons after suspension for homophobic and sexist tweets". The Independent. Press Association. Retrieved 18 January 2018. 
  42. ^ "Labour reinstates suspended MP O'Mara". BBC News. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  43. ^ "MP's suicide attempts after suspension". BBC News. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  44. ^ Pike, Joe (10 July 2018). "Joe Pike on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  45. ^ Parveen, Nazia (11 July 2018). "Labour MP reveals suicide attempts after storm over past tweets". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  46. ^ a b Pike, Joe (10 July 2018). "Joe Pike on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  47. ^ a b Blackledge, Richard (17 July 2018). "Sheffield MP Jared O'Mara cuts back work in Westminster on doctor's orders days after quitting Labour". The Star. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  48. ^ Pike, Joe (10 July 2018). "Joe Pike on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  49. ^ Pike, Joe (10 July 2018). "Joe Pike on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  50. ^ a b O'Mara, Jared (12 July 2018). "An open letter to my constituents". Jared O'Mara MP. Retrieved 12 July 2018. 
  51. ^ McGuinness, Alan (12 July 2018). "Labour MP Jared O'Mara quits party and hits out at treatment over suspension". Sky News. Retrieved 12 July 2018. 
  52. ^ Khan, Shehab (12 July 2018). "Jared O'Mara quits Labour Party over handling of homophobic and sexist tweets scandal". The Independent. Retrieved 12 July 2018. 
  53. ^ "Labour will continue to provide support for now independent MP Jared O'Mara". ITV News. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  54. ^ Blow, John (16 July 2018). "Labour to 'continue offer of support' to Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  55. ^ a b O'Callaghan, Niall (18 July 2018). "Sheffield MP Jared O'Mara cuts back Westminster duties on health grounds". forgetoday.com. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  56. ^ "MP to cut back duties on health grounds". BBC News. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  57. ^ "Summer Adjournment - Hansard". Retrieved 26 July 2018. 
  58. ^ "House of Commons recess dates". Retrieved 26 July 2018. 
  59. ^ "Opposition calls for universal credit changes". BBC News. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018. 
  60. ^ Kidd, Patrick (26 October 2017). "Tie privilege is wasted on Commons ghost". The Times. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  61. ^ "The Yorkshire Post says: Jared O'Mara is betraying faith of Sheffield voters". Yorkshire Post. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 

External linksEdit