Controversial MP Jared O’Mara has announced a “temporary pause lasting a few weeks” in his constituency activity amid reports that all his staff have left.
Mr O’Mara won the Sheffield Hallam seat for Labour in the 2017 general election, sensationally beating former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
But he had the whip withdrawn after apparently sexist and homophobic comments emerged which he had posted on social media years earlier.
Last year, he resigned from the party saying he had been “made unfairly to feel like a criminal”.
On Thursday, he issued a statement in response to a report in the Yorkshire Post that all his staff had either resigned or been fired and his constituency office in Sheffield had closed.
Mr O’Mara said: “I am happy to say I am indeed in the middle of a recruitment drive to assemble an exciting and dynamic new team composed of youth and experience and with a broad range of skill sets and talents.
“I would like to pay tribute to all staff who have served me to date and also to those who will be aiding me and my work upon their imminent arrivals. All parliamentary staff across the country deserve a pat on the back and are so often unsung heroes.”
The MP confirmed he is looking for new office premises suitable for an increased workforce and with improved public transport access.
Mr O’Mara said: “During the course of this process there will be a temporary pause lasting a few weeks before myself and my new team can recommence casework and correspondence and I would like to thank my constituents in advance for their patience during this transitional period.
“I am certainly looking forward to the future!”
Mr O’Mara had the whip withdrawn after a series of postings came to light, many dating back over a number of years, but was readmitted after receiving a formal warning.
But in July last year he resigned from Labour, saying in a statement: “I am of the opinion that the Labour Party no longer shares my commitment to the true definition of equality and compassion.
“There is no doubt that I made mistakes as a young man using distasteful language as a clumsy attempt at satire and sarcasm online. But that does not mean that is who I am today.”
He revealed that he had made three suicide attempts at the height of the furore and described himself as “the first autistic MP in our history”.