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Labour Party reinstates MP Jared O’Mara, who mocked ‘fudge packers’ and ‘poofters’

Nick Duffy July 3, 2018

Just days before Pride in London, the Labour Party has lifted the suspension of “disgraced” former MP Jared O’Mara.

O’Mara, the MP for Sheffield Hallam, was suspended last year after it was revealed he had posted a string of homophobic and anti-LGBT messages.

A user known as ‘gingerjared’ took to music forums in the early 2000s, referring to gay people as “fudge packers” and “poofters” and alluding to anal sex as “driving up the Marmite motorway.”

Jared O’Mara

He also referred to jazz musician Jamie Cullum as a “conceited c**t” who should be “sodomised with his own piano”.

Labour initially defended O’Mara, but suspended him when a continuous string of xenophobic comments and allegations about his behaviour continued to come to light.

The MP, who never directly apologised to the LGBT community for his remarks, was today reinstated by the Labour Party after a suspension of less than nine months.

On the day that the government launched its LGBT strategy, a Labour spokesperson confirmed that O’Mara’s whip been reinstated.

The MP was let off with a “formal warning” and a “mandatory requirement to attend training”, despite party leader Jeremy Corbyn vowing to take a “zero tolerance” approach to bigotry in the party.

The decision was reportedly made by Labour’s internal disputes panel, which is controlled by pro-Corbyn factions within the party.

Corbyn ally Claudia Webbe was today appointed to head the panel to replace Christine Shawcroft, another pro-Corbyn official who quit over allegations she had tried to challenge the suspension of an alleged anti-Semite.

Jared O’Mara

The decision to reinstate O’Mara has been attacked on social media.

Out Tory MP Justine Greening previously said O’Mara’s comments showed “the deep and persistent stain on Labour’s ability to represent women, the LGBT community and wider society.”

O’Mara’s comments date from 2002 to 2004, when O’Mara was a local Labour candidate and in his early 20s.

He has never directly apologised to the LGBT community or spoken about his homophobic remarks.

In a previous statement he said: “I am deeply ashamed of the comments I made online.

“I was wrong to make them; I understand why they are offensive and sincerely apologise for my use of such unacceptable language. I made the comments as a young man, at a particularly difficult time in my life, but that is no excuse.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

“Misogyny is a deep problem in our society. Since making those comments 15 years ago, I have learned about inequalities of power and how violent language perpetuates them.

“I continue to strive to be a better man and work where I can to confront misogyny… I will continue to engage with, and crucially learn from, feminist and other equalities groups so as an MP I can do whatever I can to tackle misogyny.”

Speaking to Huck Magazine in October, O’Mara said: “There’s no room for the views I had as a young man in 2017 society, there was not room for those views back then either.”

He declined multiple interview requests from PinkNews.

More: corbyn, Gay, homophobic, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, Labour party, LGBT

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