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.