Jared O’Mara, the Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam, has apologised for a series of hate comments he made before entering Parliament. The MP said that he regretted the postings, but there were calls for him to be suspended from sitting on the Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons.
Referring to the musician Jamie Cullum, O’Mara had posted:
“It would be no great loss to the music world if he was sodomised with his own piano and subsequently died of a sore arse. In fact, it would be quite funny”.
He also criticised the singer Michelle McManus, posting:
“She only won because she was fat. Ipso facto…. I also dislike the prevailing western tendency to deify fatties… There is nothing noble or admirable about glutting on loads of fatty foods and making yourself obese and ill. The only fat people out there who deserve our respect are those who are fat not because of a poor diet/lifestyle, but because of a genuine medical condition. As far as I know, Michelle is not amongst that number”.
Referring to the pop group Girls Aloud, he wrote:
“Girls Aloud – I advise you to sack Sarah and the remaining four members (Nicola, Cheryl, Nadine and Kimberley) come have an orgy with me”.
O’Mara issued a statement today saying:
“I am deeply ashamed of the comments I made online, which have 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”.
Paul Scriven, the former leader of Sheffield City Council and now a Liberal Democrat Peer, said:
“He clearly isn’t fit to sit on the women and equalities committee. He must stand down from that committee immediately and if he doesn’t, Jeremy Corbyn must take action to remove him”.