The Labour Party says it is investigating Jared O’mara, after allegations emerged about his “comments and behaviour”.
Mr O’Mara – the recently elected MP for Sheffield Hallam – has already apologised for homophobic and misogynistic remarks he made online between 2002 and 2004. He has also quit the House of Commons ‘Women and Equalities Committee’ after calling a woman an “ugly b****”.
Sophie Evans, a bartender in Sheffield told BBC2’s Daily Politics show she had first encountered O’Mara on a dating app, and while an initial meeting “didn’t really work out” there were no hard feelings.
She said, however, that O’Mara had abused her before he became an MP after she encountered him while out with friends. Asked what O’Mara said, she replied: “Obviously, some of the things aren’t broadcastable. There were some transphobic slurs in there. He called me an ugly b****.”
Mr O’Mara has denied these claims, commenting: ”The allegation made against me is categorically untrue.”
However, it has also been revealed further offensive posts had appeared under his pseudonym on a separate website. According to Guido Fawkes, Mr O’Mara has made further racial comments. When commenting about a football match, Mr O’Mara likened the Spanish to “Dagos”. Speaking to a Danish user, he wrote: “I might be a ‘ginge’ but at least I don’t practice bestiality like all you Danes! Up yours with Brass k**** on, pig s******!”
In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Justine Greening, the Education Secretary and Equalities Minister, asked how Mr O’Mara had been selected as a candidate for the Women and Equalities Committee in the first place.
“Violent, sexist and homophobic language must have no place in our society, and parliamentarians of all parties have a duty to stamp out this sort of behaviour wherever we encounter it, and condemn it in the strongest possible terms” she wrote.
On Monday, the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, criticised Conservative MPs who had applied for an urgent debate in parliament on Lewis’s comments. Bercow called the request “a wholly absurd and inappropriate application”.
Some commentators, such as Jessica Riches, a social media expert, have argued that while Mr O’Mara’s behaviour is deplorable, his remarks bring forward a wider debate on public figures and their own private thoughts: “I think it’s important to remember that as people in politics are getting younger and starting their careers with bigger potential digital footprints, so are the people holding them to account and voting for them.”