Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara finally gives his maiden speech in Parliament

Controversial Sheffield MP Jared O'Mara has finally made his maiden speech in Parliament 13 months after being elected.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 6:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 7:17 pm
Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara
Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara

The MP for Sheffield Hallam, who resigned from the Labour party earlier this month, delivered his speech during a general debate in which MPs can raise any matter they want ahead of the summer recess.Mr O'Mara was suspended as a Labour MP over sexist and homophobic comments before quitting the party, claiming he had been unfairly treated.Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: "Mr Speaker, thank you - in fact, everybody thank you, you've all been terribly patient."I'm delighted today to finally be able to make my maiden speech as the MP for the constituency where I grew up, Sheffield Hallam."I was elected a year ago as Hallam's first Labour MP but due to mistakes I made when I was young, and for which I am truly sorry and hurt a lot of people, I've been unable to speak in the House with confidence until now and I currently speak in the capacity of an independent.

"In addition to this, I am also Parliament's very first autistic MP as well as having cerebral palsy and other disabilities. This is something which fills me with immense pride and it is an honour for me to have the chance to represent our country's disabled people in addition to serving my constituents.

Mr O'Mara praised his Liberal Democrat predecessor Sir Nick Clegg for his 'admirable and steadfast belief in the value of our membership in the European Union' and commitment to multiculturalism, noting he shared both of these.

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Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara

He added: "I may, of course, be biased but Sheffield Hallam is quite possibly one of the most beautiful and greenest constituencies in the country."

The Independent MP also praised the sports stars which have emerged from his constituency, including 'the best right-back in football' Kyle Walker.

He offered the warm tribute to the England star 'even though I am an Owl and he is a Blade' - in recognition of his support for Sheffield Wednesday and Walker's for Sheffield United.

He said Sheffield Hallam 'gets unfairly typecast as one of the least diverse and most wealthy' constitutencies in the north but said he'd had the 'privilege of meeting people from all walks of life' since being elected.

Mr O'Mara, 36, said: "Hallam is the epitome of multiculturalism as is the city of Sheffield as a whole and I am very proud to call it home."

He also spoke of what can be learned from the teachings of Jesus, although said he considers himself "a man of science".

Mr O'Mara said: "He was a man who forgave those who truly repented and he shares my belief that our utmost human priority should be helping those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable amongst us."

The Sheffield Hallam MP concluded his remarks by asking his constituents, all political parties and everyone in the country to join him in "prioritising these principles".

He added: "I promise that I will do my utmost to help all those in need of help within my constituency and to champion the cause of equality.

"When I return to Parliament in September I shall do so with renewed vigour and an unwavering commitment to social justice and look forward to being the best MP that I can possibly be."

House of Commons speaker John Bercow congratulated Mr O'Mara for his 'commendably succinct' and wished him well.

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