Disabled Sheffield MP hits back at ‘Uber king of the Commons' claims as expenses revealed

Sheffield MP Jared O'Mara has hit back after a national newspaper described him as the ‘Uber king of the Commons’ for clocking up more than £1,000 worth of journeys on the ride-hailing app.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 11:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 11:18 am
Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara
Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara

Mr O'Mara, who resigned from the Labour party last year following the discovery of offensive comments he posted online, claimed for a total of £1,183 worth of journeys on the ride app, between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.

The independent MP was listed in an A-Z of MPs’ expenses in The Times but he hit back insisting driving and buses were a ‘health and safety risk’ as he had cerebral palsy.

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara

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Mr O’Mara said: “I am disabled with autism and cerebral palsy down my entire right side. This means I cannot drive and buses are a health and safety risk for me as I have poor balance and co-ordination.

“My work taxis are paid on parliament's disability support fund which is accessed via parliament's Health and Well Being Department's GP doing an assessment of need. It is very similar to the DWP's Access To Work Fund , which I had support from in my previous career.”

Mr O’Mara said he chose to use Uber as oppose to other taxi companies as it provided electronic receipts for journeys, which he has to submit as part of parliamentary expenses guidelines.

He added: “There is nothing else that provides the service they do. They are really good with people with disabilities and I don't have to handle receipts.”

Referring to the article in The Times, Mr O’Mara, aged 37, said nobody from the newspaper had contacted him or his consitutency or parliamentary office.

He said: “It’s just really unprofessional. There is nothing else that I can do to travel for work and I think it’s wrong of The Times not to contact and I just think it’s bad journalism.”

The MP for Sheffield Hallam was suspended from the party last October following the discovery of misogynistic and offensive comments he posted online when aged in his twenties, and the allegation that he called a constituent an ‘ugly bi**h’ weeks before polling day in 2017.