‘Resign to allow Sheffield Hallam to move forward’ – Political rival’s message to Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara after aide’s foul-mouthed Twitter resignation

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara’s biggest rival has called for him step down following the resignation of his chief of staff in a foul-mouthed Twitter rant on the politican’s own account.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 14:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 13:18 pm

Liberal Democrat candidate Laura Gordon said people needed to show ‘symptathy’ towards Mr O’Mara who has previously spoken openly about his mental health difficulties.

She said ‘parliament was poorly set up’ for disabled MPs but called for him to resign to allow ‘Sheffield Hallam to move forward’.

Sheffield Hallam's Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Laura Gordon.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i politics newsletter cut through the noise

Ms Gordon said: “I think it’s really important to stay focused on what the bigger picture is, which is we know that Jared has been having a lot of issues. He has spoken about his mental health isues previously.

“We have seen the isues he has had with his staff, we have seen that he has missed a number of votes. It’s very clear that Jared is having major issues doing the job."

Mr O’Mara’s former chief of staff Gareth Arnold, who had only been employed for eight weeks, quit in sensational fashion by posting a series of tweets from the MP’s own official account and urged him to call a by-election.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, he said he had posted the tweets because he felt ‘something big needed to happen’ for the sake of Sheffield Hallam constituents.

Jared O'Mara after being elected in June 2017.

Ms Gordon said: “I think it’s quite unprecedented but that’s true of the whole sitation with Jared. It’s a very off and unusual situation but I think that’s true of everything that’s been happening.”

Ms Gordon, who said she had never met Mr Arnold, said she had taken on casework of Sheffield Hallam constituents and ‘helps them when she can’.

She also criticised the Labour party and claimed Mr O’Mara was chosen as its candidate for the 2017 General Election ‘without an interview.’

Ms Gordon added: “We must also be sensitive to the challenges Jared has faced as an autistic and disabled MP in a parliament that is poorly set up for it. However, none of that absolves him of his responsibility to his constituents.

“People rely on their MP to help them and Jared is letting them down by failing to do that work. Jared has also missed a number of crucial votes, not always with a clear reason. In a hung Parliament where there is a real risk of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit this simply isn’t good enough.

“If Jared is unable to do the job for which he was elected, he should step down, seek the support he needs and allow Hallam to move forward.”

Mr O’Mara could not be reached for comment.