Political

Why hasn’t another MP been called into Sheffield Hallam?

The disgraced and suspended Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam, Jared O’Mara, has been in the firing line again over how little constituency or Parliamentary work he is doing.

As the local newspaper reports:

O’Mara, who took Nick Clegg’s seat in Sheffield Hallam in June, was suspended by Labour in October after a series of homophobic, racist and misogynistic online remarks made several years ago came to light.

In December, O’Mara’s office said he would not be attending Parliament on medical advice but added that he was continuing to work “very hard” for constituents in Sheffield. But after The Yorkshire Post visited his constituency office on Friday, the day he previously held constituency surgeries, O’Mara was not there. His office manager Maggie Flude said he did come to the office but would not reveal how regularly he comes to work or when the last time he turned up was and couldn’t give a single example of him helping a constituent.

The disappearance of his constituency surgeries has even led to Liberal Democrat Laura Gordon starting up her own.

What’s odd, however, about the ‘he’s too ill to work’ angle to all this is that whether due to illness or parenthood, it’s not that rare for the work of an MP to have to be covered by their colleagues. There are some aspects of that work which only another MP can cover, and that is indeed what has been done in the past. It may also be a case of, for example, the MP’s surgeries going ahead as advertised but with a local councillor standing in.

Which makes it rather odd that something similar hasn’t been done in this case. It doesn’t appear to reflect well on how seriously looking after constituents is being taken.

6 responses to “Why hasn’t another MP been called into Sheffield Hallam?”

  1. They refer to his office and staff. Are they his or do they belong to a party from which he is suspended?

    • Usually ‘an MP’s staff’ refers to staff employed by the MP using their Parliamentary allowance. (As an aside, the fact that MPs end up being employers in this way is part of the problem behind some of the allegations of harassment and abuse in politics – because MPs directly employ staff and without the backup you have in bigger organisations of an HR department or similar both to get employment practices right and to provide a route for complaints etc.)

  2. Mark

    Can’t Jared O’Mara be recalled by the electorate of Sheffield Hallam and a Parliamentary by-election called as a result of him failing to carry out the duties expected of an MP?

    Please explain.

    Thanks.
    Richard Whelan
    Newcastle-under-Lyme Liberal Democrats.

    • The recall rules don’t allow just any MP to be recalled (the logic being that a group of people shouldn’t be able to overturn an election result just because they voted for the loser) but rather an MP has to have broken expense rules, been convicted etc – and none of those conditions apply in this case.

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