'Right decision' - Political rivals express concern for Jared O'Mara as Sheffield Hallam MP says he's 'in not fit state to continue'
Political rivals have expressed concern for the health of controversial Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara after he announced he plans to step down.
The Star exclusively revealed Mr O’Mara intends toresign when parliament resumes after the summer recess in September after members of his own staff spoke out against him.
Former Labour MP Mr O’Mara, aged 37, said he was ‘not well and in the process of receiving medical help’ and would resign following the recess, which is due to end on Tuesday, September 3.
Mr O’Mara said: “Please let everyone be assured that I will be tendering my resignation via the official Parliamentary process as soon as term restarts.
“I am not in any fit state to continue and nor would that be appropriate if I was. I reiterate my apology to my constituents, the people of Sheffield and the people of the UK as whole.”
He had previously said that he would be ‘taking time out to receive professional help to deal with his mental health and personal issues regarding self-medication’.
The MP has also spoken previously about his mental health and revealed he attempted suicide three times.
Labour’s candidate for Sheffield Hallam, Olivia Blake, who is also deputy leader of Sheffield council, said: “This is the right decision for Jared and for the people of Sheffield Hallam, I hope he gets the support he needs.
“The Labour party is ready for a by-election. Hallam needs a Labour MP who will represent and support local people and seek to reverse the damage done by almost a decade of austerity under the Tories and the Lib Dems.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Laura Gordon, who is understood to be the favourite to take the seat, said: “By resigning Jared is doing the right thing – both for himself and his constituents.
"People in Sheffield will now get their chance to have their say, both on Boris Johnson’s dangerous Conservative Government and on Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to provide effective opposition at a time of national crisis.”
Ian Walker, who stood as the Conservative candidate in the 2017 general election, wished Mr O’Mara well in his recovery.
He added: “His resignation will result in a by-election in my home constituency of Sheffield Hallam and gives the Conservative party the chance to win back a seat that has been Conservative for most of its existence.
“I stood for Hallam in the 2017 General Election, when the Conservative vote went up almost 80 per cent and it is vital Sheffield gets a Conservative MP who will do their best for constituents and can lobby seriously, at the heart of government, for Sheffield’s interests.”
Mr O’Mara’s announcement came after his most damning week of a turbulent two years in office, which included the sensational resignation of staff member Gareth Arnold via a string of foul-mouthed tweets on the MP’s own Twitter acccount.
His former communications officer Jen Barnes also revealed a number of crude WhatsApp messages she said the MP had sent her, including one in which he said ‘he loved her’.
When asked for a comment about Ms Barnes’ claims, Mr O’Mara told The Star he intended to resign after the summer recess.