Jared O'Mara: Labour MP resigns from equalities committee after series of sexist comments revealed

Sheffield Hallam MP was found to have made a series of remarks saying 'fat women don't deserve respect' and saying he would like an orgy with Girls Aloud

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 23 October 2017 20:33 BST
Jared O'Mara is the newly-elected Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam
Jared O'Mara is the newly-elected Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam (Twitter)

Labour MP Jared O'Mara has resigned from the Women and Equalities Select Committee after a series of sexist and homophobic comments he made in the past resurfaced online.

The Sheffield Hallam MP made a series of remarks on online forums when he was in his early twenties saying he would like to have an orgy with four members of Girls Aloud and that the 2003 winner of Pop Idol Michelle McManus only won the singing competition because she was fat.

In the posts, made in 2002 and 2004, he also said it would be "quite funny" if singer Jamie Cullum" was "sodomised to death" with a piano because he thought he was an "arrogant, conceited c***".

He compared it to the abuse he suffers for having red hair and being disabled.

Mr O'Mara suffers from cerebral palsy, and said he thought it was "funny how some homosexuals believe they have the monopoly on being subject to abuse".

He also ranted about gay people being "bitter and resentful about being homosexual" and used a series of derogatory terms to describe them in the posts seen by political blogger Guido Fawkes.

The MP, who was elected in June, defeating former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, has since apologised for his comments.

In a statement on Twitter he said: "I am deeply ashamed of the comments I made online, which emerged today.

"I was wrong to make them; I understand why they are offensive and sincerely apologise for my use of such unacceptable language.

"I made the comments as a young man, at a particularly difficult time in my life, but that is no excuse.

"Misogyny is a deep problem in our society. Since making those comments 15 years ago, I have learned about inequalities of power and how violent language perpetuates them.

"I continue to strive to be a better man and work where I can to confront misogyny, which is why I'm so proud to sit on the Women and Equalities Select Committee.

"I will continue to engage with, and crucially learn from, feminist and other equalities groups so as an MP I can do whatever I can to tackle misogyny."

Mr O'Mara was first elected to the Women and Equalities Select Committee last month.

Liberal Democrat peer and former leader of Sheffield Council, Lord Paul Scriven, said the 36-year-old must resign and that the incident showed a "nasty pattern of sexist language and misogyny is developing from the Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam".

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