How much Jared O’Mara could be given in pay-off if he stands for re-election as Sheffield Hallam MP

Defiant Jared O’Mara, who postponed his resignation as Sheffield Hallam MP, could be in for a pay-off of more than £22,500 if he stands in another election.

By Sam Cooper
Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 1:46 pm

Mr O’Mara exclusively told The Star back in July that he would be standing down when parliament resumed after the summer recess as he was in ‘no fit state to continue’.

But The Treasury confirmed on Tuesday – as MPs returned to Parliament – it had received a letter from the 37-year-old requesting that his resignation be ‘postponed’.

And despite mounting criticism and frustration from constituents, the former music producer could now stand in a forthcoming election for the Sheffield Hallam seat.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Jared O'Mara. Picture: Dean Atkins

That election is now seemingly destined to be a general election rather than by-election, after The House of Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, allowing them to bring a bill requesting a Brexit delay today.

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would call for a general election if he was forced to request an extension to the October 31 deadline.

Asked about Mr O’Mara’s resignation, a Treasury spokesman said: “Mr O’Mara remains an MP. He has recently written to the Chancellor requesting that his appointment to the Crown be postponed.”

The spokesman would not disclose when the letter was written or received and would only say it was ‘recently’.

And should he stand in an election, Mr O’Mara would be eligible for a Loss of Office Payment (LOOP), equal to twice statutory redundancy entitlement awarded to members of the public, together with a two-month salary allowance and expenses for staff and removal.

He would also be paid his salary up until polling day and be entitled to request payment of an amount equal to the remainder of that month’s salary, which would then be deducted from his full LOOP entitlement.

The Star understands that Mr O’Mara would be eligible for a payment of around £22,500 plus expenses for shutting down his office.

Hallam constituent Sinead Parkinson said: “He is doing it for his own benefit. There was talk last night that he was doing it to help Labour out but he didn't even vote.

“He is not doing it for anybody else. He is worried about his own consequences.”

Although MPs cannot directly resign their seat, Chancellor Sajid Javid has to appoint them to a historic office, which bars them from standing as an MP by law.

To resign MPs are appointed to either the Steward and Bailiffs of the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead – a position traditionally paid for by the Crown.

In modern times they are unpaid, formal titles that are applied for when an MP needs to disqualify themselves from the Commons.

But Mr O’Mara remains an MP despite his pledge he would resign yesterday following a scandal-hit two years in office.

His downfall began within just two months of taking up office when he was stripped of the Labour whip because of comments made online before standing for parliament. The whip was reinstated in July 2018, only for him to resign from the party nine days later.

More recently, he closed his constituency office for a month in April, all his staff were either sacked or walked out with at least two tribunals pending, and he stopped holding surgeries or responding to correspondence from the public for a period of time.

Then, in July, he said he had got a fresh team behind him and was operating from a new office in the city centre.

But, again, just weeks later, he was then left to pick up the pieces after his former chief of staff resigned in a spectacular foul-mouthed rant on the MP’s own Twitter account.Jen Barnes, who worked as a communications officer for the MP, then disclosed a serious of messages, including one which was 17 paragraphs long in which she said Mr O’Mara told her ‘he loved her’.

In August, Mr O’Mara was reportedly arrested on suspicion of fraud, alongside Mr Arnold, who, it is alleged, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Mr O’Mara could not be reached for comment.