A disgrace to Parliament, an embarrassment to Sheffield

It is difficult to understand how somebody who expresses such hatred and contempt for his fellow human beings as we have seen from Jared O’Mara, could wish to undertake or be a suitable choice for the noble calling of public service in politics.

I do accept that is possible for an angry young man to reform over the years and become an upstanding public figure. The problem is that there is no sign that this has happened.

O’Mara first sought election – to the city council – in 2004, the same year he was writing the hate speech against women, fat people and LGBT+ people exposed by Guido Fawkes. He sought to represent people he regarded with contempt.

And reports of the incident at West Street Live, a nightclub in Sheffield where O’Mara worked, in March of this year, where one woman was assaulted by a bouncer and another verbally abused by O’Mara himself, in misogynistic and transphobic terms, if you ever doubted them must now surely be believed. This came to light shortly after the election, and although O’Mara denied what had happened (while perhaps suggesting that if somebody got hit, they may have deserved it), it is now much harder to believe him.

Between these two events, O’Mara is supposed to have been on a journey in which he realised that it is wrong to hate people and that he wants to serve us. But this timeline shows that he sought election while hating and was still hating when elected. This appears to be a man who seeks political power as a vehicle to further his hatred and contempt for anybody who is different and is a disgrace to Parliament and an embarrassment to Sheffield.

How can anybody against whom Jared O’Mara has vented his prejudice, possibly seek his help as their MP with any confidence?

And yesterday it was revealed that the Labour Party appointed O’Mara as candidate for Sheffield Hallam as a paper exercise, that is without even an interview. That is how little regard the Labour Party has for the people of Sheffield Hallam. It treats us with contempt. We deserve better.

* Joe Otten was the candidate for Sheffield Heeley in June 2017, is a councillor in Sheffield and is Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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15 Comments

  • I do not see how he can stay an MP, suspect he may well find he has little option after a weekend in Sheffield. I read that he has yet to make his maiden speech, the only new MP who has not done so.

  • I understand the political reasons for putting such pressure on Mr O’Mara in Sheffield. However, I still can’t help but find the faux outrage within both this article and much of what has been said in the media to be more than a bit grating.

  • I thought this was going to be about Nick Clegg.

  • Mick Taylor 27th Oct '17 - 9:05pm

    Jay, it’s hardly likely to be about Nick Clegg, because he announced recently that he’s not going to stand again.
    I find James’s comment about faux outrage rather offensive. It is totally unacceptable for anyone, let alone an MP, to treat women, LGBT+ people and Jews with the contempt that O’Mara has shown. I would say that of anyone regardless of party.
    The last straw for me was O’Mara justifying staying on because he’s on a journey, but that if it was a Tory who said what he did, then he should resign. Many men have had to change their thinking on these issues, especially those of us brought up in the fifties, when many thought these attitudes were not only acceptable but expected. It is quite understandable to seek to change yourself, but it’s the public utterances that make this wholly disreputable. It really beggars belief that this man is on a journey of self education, when as recently as 7 months ago he was mouthing off misogynist and anti trans comments in a public place.
    He is not fit to be an MP and the Labour Party does itself no favours by its investigation, which in my view will see him regaining the Labour whip after a month or two.
    He should resign, go off and learn better and then perhaps offer himself once again for public service when he has truly repented and changed.

  • “7 months ago he was mouthing off misogynist and anti-trans comments in public”

    According to what? From what I can see, there is nothing more than a claim that this happened – and there’s always two sides to every story.

    Ye, his past actions deserve criticism, but honestly, the sanctimonious tripe coming from some people over this – yes, I do find it grating. And, its especially frustrating to see people being led in this by Guido bloody Fawkes – they aren’t ‘exposing’ this for any high minded reasons.

  • Andrew McCaig 28th Oct '17 - 7:18am

    Guido Fawkes is definitely not a force for good in our society and regardless of Jared O’Mara the comments on that site are often worse than anything he is reported to have said. Guido needs to clean his own act up and block a number of posters..

  • The new caring Labour Party!

  • Robert (Somerset) 28th Oct '17 - 10:20am

    Labour aren’t the first political party to put up a paper candidate at either national or local level who hasn’t been properly vetted. Or the first to suffer the consequences of having one elected!

  • What is going on…it appears many who have commented want to find a reason to defend this individual. If it was a Liberal I would be arguing that he should be expelled. Guido Fawkes is ,of course, a person I am grateful to have little if anything in common but these allegations were abroad before he wanted to make mischief.

  • Robert (Somerset) 28th Oct '17 - 11:07am

    Well I am certainly not trying to defend this individual, more highlighting some of the Mickey Mouse procedures that inhabit our democratic process. For starters there is no procedure as far as I know to have this person thrown out of parliament, only out of the Labour Party. He can stay in parliament to collect his salary and benefits and if he stands as an independent at the next election and is defeated, as the sitting MP he qualifies for a severance package.

  • I think that the use of ‘paper candidates’ by whatever party is a foolish strategy, but I don’t agree that the Jared O’Mara case shows contempt for voters; rather it was the expectation that Nick Clegg would not be defeated.

  • Mick Taylor 28th Oct '17 - 1:51pm

    I have said elsewhere that there has been a lot of gun jumping going on here. MPs can’t be forced to resign unless they have criminal convictions and even then only when this is above a threshold. [Not sure what it is for MPs but for councillors it is a sentence of 3 months or more even if you don’t go to prison]
    In any event, any MP wanting to quit has to take an office of profit under the crown that renders them ineligible. Simple resignation is not possible. As far as I know there is no procedure for expelling MPs. So Robert (Somerset) is correct and JO’M could choose to sit an an independent till the next election. After all, we have our own precedent in Mark Oaten.

  • Chris Burden 28th Oct '17 - 6:28pm

    What about the ‘right to recall’ MPs who have behaved badly? Before the end of the coalition there were moves to make this happen.

  • Alex Macfie 31st Oct '17 - 6:22am

    Mark Oaten never left the party.

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