Ex-Labour MP Jared O’Mara charged with seven counts of fraud

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Jared O'Mara
Jared O'Mara formerly Hallam Labour MP

Former Sheffield Hallam Labour MP Jared O’Mara has been charged with seven counts of fraud.

South Yorkshire Police said the charges related to a number of alleged fraudulent expenses claims.

O’Mara, 39, is charged alongside former aide Gareth Arnold, who faces six counts of fraud, and a third man, John Woodliff, who faces a single charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

They will appear before magistrates in Sheffield on 24 September.

The offences are said to have occurred between October 2018 and February 2020.

The force said the charges brought against Mr O’Mara, of Walker Close, Sheffield, related to expenses claims submitted to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

In total he faces seven counts of fraud and one count of entering into an arrangement which facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by another, the force said.

Mr Arnold, 28, of Hunter House Road, Sheffield, faces six counts of fraud while Mr Woodliff, 42, of Dunninc Terrace, Sheffield, faces one count of entering into an arrangement which facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by another.

Rosemary Ainslie, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “The CPS has today authorised police to charge Jared O’Mara, former MP for Sheffield Hallam, with seven counts of fraud by false representation.

“The charge relates to an allegation he made fraudulent invoices to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority jointly with Gareth Arnold, who is also charged with six counts of the same offence.

“Jared O’Mara is charged jointly with John Woodliff with a Proceeds of Crime Act offence.

“The CPS made the decision that the three men should be charged after reviewing a file of evidence from South Yorkshire Police.”

Mr O’Mara took the Sheffield Hallam seat for Labour from former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in June 2017.

Upon joining Parliament, O’Mara became a member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee but resigned from this in October 2017, after publication of offensive comments about women and gay men he had made in 2009 and earlier.

He was suspended from the Labour Party later in October following further reporting of online comments made before his election described as racist, homophobic and misogynistic.

It was reported he had been reinstated to Labour in July 2018, a claim he denied. He subsequently sat as an independent MP. In July 2019, he announced he would resign as an MP after the Parliamentary summer recess, but in fact, he eventually stood down only at the December 2019 general election.

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