Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara has resigned from the Commons equality committee after homophobic and misogynistic comments he made in the past came to light.
O’Mara, who defeated Nick Clegg in this year’s snap election to gain the seat, resigned from the Women and Equalities Committee yesterday after posting an official apology. He joined the committee last month.
He has been accused of posting a glut of offensive online comments. Online blogger Guido Fawkes accused him of calling a woman an “ugly bitch” and ranting about “fat women” on internet messageboards.
O’Mara said the following in a statement on Twitter: “I am deeply ashamed of the comments I made online, which have emerged today.”
“I was wrong to make them, I understand why they are offensive and sincerely apologise for my use of such unacceptable language. I made the comments as a young man, at a particularly difficult time in my life, but that is no excuse.”
“Misogyny is a deep problem in our society. Since making those comments 15 years ago, I have learned about inequalities of power and how violent language perpetuates them. I continue to strive to be a better man and work where I can to confront misogyny. I will continue to engage with, and crucially learn from feminist and other equalities groups so as an MP I can do whatever I can to tackle misogyny.”
Another alleged post of his was a rant about 2003 Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus, in which he said: “She only won because she was fat. I also dislike the prevailing western tendency to deify fatties.”
As well as that he joked about wanting to have an orgy with Girls Aloud and that it would be “quite funny” if musician Jamie Cullum was “sodomised with his own piano and subsequently died of a sore arse”.
Lilian Jones, co-chair of the Labour Students Society, said: “Like others in the party, we are deeply concerned by these comments. Comments like this have absolutely no place in our party or indeed within any other political parties. Although these particular comments were made some time ago, this is no excuse for the ignorance and bigotry that was shown. We look forward to Jared showing that he is listening to women and LGBT people and learning from his mistakes.”