Labour MP quits equalities committee over “fudge packer” and “poofter” comments

UK Parliament

A series of “unacceptable” homophobic comments from a Labour MP have emerged online.

Jared O’Mara, who unseated Nick Clegg to become the new MP for Sheffield Hallam in June, has stepped down from his position on the Women and Equalities Committee following the controversy.

In posts from 2004 unearthed by the Guido Fawkes website, O’Mara said it would be funny if jazz singer Jamie Cullum was “sodomised with his own piano and died of a sore arse” and claimed Michelle McManus only won Pop Idol “because she was fat”.

The Labour MP expressed regret for making the comments in a statement issued on Monday, writing: “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.

“I continue to strive to be a better man and work where I can to confront misogyny, which is why I’m so proud to sit on the women and equalities select committee.”

But he later stepped down from his position on the Women and Equalities Committee after a series of homophobic comments made under a pseudonym on a Morrissey fan website in 2002 were discovered.

“I find it funny how some homosexuals think they have the monopoly on being subject to abuse, they should try being ginger AND disabled!” he said in one comment left on the website.

In other posts, he made reference to gay people as “fudge-packers” who “drive up the Marmite motorway”.

“Just because I use euphamisms for anal love that can be interpreted as being derogotory by the self -righteous and the PC brigade DOES NOT mean I’m homophobic,” he added.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner defended O’Mara following the controversy, telling BBC’s Today Programme: “I am happy to sit alongside him, because he made those comments 15 years ago.

“People do change their views… it is important that they recognise that and apologise and correct that behaviour.”

But LGBT Labour said the were “deeply concerned” by O’Mara’s comments and called on him to meet with the LGBT Labour committee to understand the inequality faced by many LGBT+ people.

“These types of comments have no place within Labour or any other political party,” they wrote in a statement.

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