Jared O'Mara: Former Yorkshire MP pleads not guilty to charge over fraudulent invoices

Former MP Jared O'Mara has pleaded not guilty to submitting fraudulent invoices to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for sums totalling more than £28,000.

O'Mara, who represented the constituency of Sheffield Hallam until 2019, appeared at Sheffield Court Court by videolink on Wednesday.

His former aide Gareth Arnold, 29, and another man, John Woodliff, 42, both appeared in person.

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O'Mara, 39, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of fraud by false representation.

Jared O'Mara

The fraud charges faced by O'Mara involve sums totalling £28,700 alleged to have been claimed dishonestly from IPSA.Some of the counts relate to "services purported to have been provided by Gareth Arnold", and others refer to "services purported to have been provided by Confident About Autism South Yorkshire".

These offences are alleged to have occurred in a period between May 2019 and February last year.

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Arnold, of School Lane, Dronfield, Derbyshire, is jointly charged with six of these fraud charges and pleaded not guilty to each of these on Wednesday.

O'Mara and Woodliff, of Hesley Road, Sheffield, face a further charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act. No pleas were entered to this count at the hearing, which lasted 45 minutes.

No trial date was fixed by the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, who said it is likely the case will be moved to another crown court.

O'Mara, of Walker Close, Sheffield, won the Sheffield Hallam constituency for Labour from former Lib Dem leader Sir Nick Clegg in 2017, but later left the party during a series of controversies.

He stayed in office as an independent MP but did not contest the 2019 general election.

IPSA is the body that regulates MPs' staffing and business costs as well as their pay and pensions.

All three defendants were given unconditional bail.