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Fri, 25 September 2020

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Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara set to resign and trigger by-election

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara set to resign and trigger by-election
2 min read

The troubled former Labour MP Jared O'Mara has annouced he will finally resign his seat and trigger a by-election in the coming weeks.


The 37-year-old, who won his Sheffield Hallam seat from then-Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in 2017, said he was planning to step down in September.

The announcement came a day after he issued a statement saying he was taking time out to address his mental health issues.

On Tuesday, Gareth Arnold, Mr O'Mara's chief of staff, resigned from his job in a series of highly critical tweets published on the MPs twitter feed.

Mr Arnold wrote: "Jared, you are the most disgustingly morally bankrupt person I have ever had the displeasure of working with.

"You do not care about your constituents. You do not care about anyone but yourself."

He added: "Sheffield Hallam deserves so much better than you. You have wasted opportunities which people dare not to even dream of."

His comments came as a 20-year-old woman who had worked in Mr O'Mara's office accused the MP of sending inappropriate text messages in which he declared his love for her.

The former member of staff said she felt "intimidated and degraged" after the MP made regular "sexist, misogynistic and lew comments".

The Independent MP accepts he had sent the messages but claimed they were jokes and were not meant in a sexual way.

But in a statement released on Saturday, Mr O'Mara said he was not longer "in a fit state" to continue as an MP.

"Let everyone be assured I will be tendering my resignation via the official parliamentary procedure as soon as term restarts," he said.

"I am not in any fit state to continue and nor would that be appropriate if I was. I reiterate my apology to my constituents, the people of Sheffield and the people of the UK as a whole."

Mr O'Mara, who quit Labour in 2018 after being suspended for a string of controversial online posts about women and LGBT people, also used his statement to accuse the party - and Jeremy Corbyn - of bullying him.

But a Labour Party spokesman said the party was continuing to provide support to their former MP.

Theynsaid: "We take the welfare of our MPs very seriously and, while Jared is no longer a Labour MP, we are concerned for his welfare and we have continued to provide support to him, and will continue to do so."

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