Jared O’Mara has been urged by the Liberal Democrats to properly represent his Sheffield Hallam constituents, after the MP shocked Labour by quitting the party days after his reinstatement following a suspension for offensive online comments.
Mr O’Mara who ousted Lib Dem former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg in the June 2017 general election, quit Labour on Thursday night claiming he had “not been listened to or been given a fair investigation” after his suspension.
The 36 year-old will continue to sit as an independent MP but has yet to make a maiden speech in Parliament.
This week he revealed he attempted suicide following his suspension for comments made in his early 20s, for which he was eventually given a formal warning from Labour.
Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Hallam, Laura Gordon, will be hoping to take win back the marginal seat for her party at the next election..
She said: “Jared O’Mara is clearly going through an acutely difficult time. We must always stand with those who are going through health and mental health challenges.
“What has happened in Sheffield Hallam has highlighted that all political parties have a duty of care both in how they approve candidates and their continued support for them after election.
“The MP for Sheffield Hallam has made a solemn promise to his constituents. Regardless of party label, it is important the people of Sheffield Hallam get the representation they need and deserve.”
In an open letter to his constituents on Thursday night to explain why he quit Labour, Mr O’Mara, who has autism and cerebral palsy, said: “I am of the opinion that the Labour Party no longer shares my commitment to the true definition of equality and compassion.
“I would be lying to those of you whom I represent, and those close to me like my parents and sister respectively, if I continued under the pretence that I feel there is a place of acceptance and empathy for me as a working-class, underprivileged disabled man within the Labour Party.
“I have experienced little to make me feel welcome, understood and accepted during this last year.”