Ex-Labour MP Jared OMara ordered to appear in court over alleged expenses fraud

A former Labour MP has been ordered to appear in court in connection with a series of alleged fraud offences.

Jared O’Mara, who was MP for Sheffield Hallam between 2017 and 2019, has been told to attend court next month along with his former chief of staff.

They are due to attend Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on 24 September in connection with offences relating to a number of allegedly fraudulent expenses claims that were submitted to parliamentary authorities.

Mr O’Mara, 39, of Sheffield, faces seven counts of fraud and one other count under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mr Arnold, 28, also of Sheffield, faces six counts of fraud.

A third man, John Woodliff, 42, also from Sheffield, faces one count under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in periods between October 2018 and February 2020.

Mr O’Mara was elected as a Labour MP at the 2017 general election, when he defeated former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to win the Sheffield Hallam seat.

However, he was later suspended from the Labour Party following the emergence of sexist and homophobic comments he made online.

Mr O’Mara went on to sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons, but was often criticised for his lack of attendance at Westminster.

The former bar and music venue manager, who has cerebral palsy and autism, was said to have once taken a break from parliament on the advice of his GP.

A spokesperson for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), who handle expenses claims by MPs, said: “Following a referral from IPSA’s compliance officer, South Yorkshire Police investigated Mr O’Mara and the Crown Prosecution Service decided to charge Mr O’Mara with a series of fraud offences.

“There are generally very high levels of compliance by MPs with IPSA’s scheme of MPs’ staffing and business costs.

“We publish annual assurance reports, available on our website, which summarise levels of compliance, and the actions that IPSA takes to safeguard taxpayers’ money.”

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