‘It’s just not good enough – Mum’s anger after Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara cancels three meetings

A furious constitutent of Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara has questioned his claims that he was dealing with enquiries after saying he failed to show up for three appointments.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 1:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 5:58 pm

Claire Smyth, of Lodge Moor, said she had arranged to meet the MP three times to discuss concerns about her son’s schooling only for him to cancel all of them.

Mr O’Mara has endured a turbulent two years in office since he was elected in 2017. He closed his constituency office for a month in April, there were reports that all his staff were either sacked or walked out and he stopped holding surgeries or responding to correspondence.

He also quit the Labour Party last year after being suspended over historic misogynistic and homophobic comments made online.

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Jared O'Mara MP for Sheffield Hallam

More recently, he faced criticism for failing to take part in a key Brexit vote – and Ms Smyth said that came on the day of the second of her cancelled appointments.

She said: “It’s so frustrating. I have a child with autism and he is really struggling in mainstream school – it’s just not the right environment for him.

“I have been trying to get in touch with Jared since March. On March 9, I was due to meet him at his Saturday surgery at Ecclesall Library but he cancelled on me 45 minutes before.

“One of his staff rearranged to go into his office at Crosspool and he wasn’t there. One of his staff said he was doing a Brexit vote in Parliament. They promised they would ring back and that never happened.

“Then I saw the article he did in the Star saying having his new office was like a ‘rebirth’ so I called again. Somebody in his office went through a selection of dates and arranged an appointment for Wednesday, July 10 at his new office in the city centre.

“I got all the way into town and I didn’t feel very well myself that day and when I got there, he was not there. His office said they had tried to ring me at home and when I got back there was a voicemail 30 minutes before the appointment time – it’s just not good enough.”

Ms Smyth said Mr O’Mara’s office asked for all her concerns to be put into an email, which she said she did, but added she’d had no response.

She said: “It’s extremely frustrating especially with it being such an emotive subject I am dealing with. On two occasions I gave him the benefit of the doubt but to do it three times is insulting, especially when we are paying his wages. We are paying for a service and he is not providing it.

“I appreciate that he has underlying health issues but the honourable thing to do would be to let somebody else do it. I just think that people need to know that he is not doing what he says he is doing in the papers and it’s just not on.”

Gareth Arnold, Mr O’Mara’s chief of staff, said: “We are currently speaking to Ms Smyth. We have reached out to ask how we can help with the campaign and we are hoping to book another meeting with her and go from there.”