Labour MP who posted sexist and homophobic comments quits women and equalities select committee

Steven Swinford
Jared O'Mara, a Labour MP, has apologised for derogatory internet comments - Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament

A Labour MP who posted a series of sexist, homophobic and derogatory comments on the internet has resigned from the Women and Equalities select committee.

Jared O'Mara said he was "deeply ashamed" of the posts which included a suggestion that it would be "quite funny" if the pop star Jamie Cullum died after being sodomised.

He also said he would like an orgy with members of the pop group Girls Aloud and posted another message in which he claimed a Pop Idol victor "only won because she was fat".

The MP for Sheffield Hallam, who was 26 at time, also criticised “the prevailing western tendency to deify fatties” and said that fat people do not “deserve our respect.”

Mr O'Mara said on Monday: “I am deeply ashamed of the comments I made online, which have emerged today. 

Theresa Villiers, former Cabinet minister

“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. 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."

It came as female politicians spoke out about the sexual harassment and abuse that they had received.

Baroness Jenkin, a Tory peer, revealed that an MP stroked her neck while she drove her car when she was a 22-year-old secretary.

She said that "men used to hit on you all the time" when she arrived in the almost all-male Parliament in the 1970s. Theresa Villiers, a former Cabinet minister, disclosed that she had been groped by the organiser of a Conservative event when she was standing as an MP in the 1990s.

Jess Phillips, Labour MP

Mary Creagh, a Labour MP, said that she was sexually abused as a child in the playground and also had her bottom pinched by a priest when she was a teenager.

Jess Phillips, another Labour MP, revealed that her former boss had attempted to sexually assault her when she was in her 20s before she came to Parliament. The politicians spoke out about the abuse they had experienced in an attempt to encourage more women to come forward in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Baroness Jenkin, 61, told the Evening Standard: "I was with an MP once in a car and he was trying to stroke my neck. I was swerving all over the road."

Ms Villiers, 49, said: "I recall one instance in the late Nineties when I was a candidate for the European elections and attended a Conservative function. “As I was leaving at the end of the evening after having made my speech, I had to fend off some groping hands from one of the event organisers.”

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