The Labour Party has launched an investigation into MP Jared O’Mara’s “comments and behaviour” after a further round of allegations against the politician emerged.
The step by the party comes as Tory minister Justine Greening wrote to Jeremy Corbyn to ask if he will remove the party whip from scandal-hit Labour MP Jared O’Mara.
The education secretary said historic homophobic and misogynistic comments made online by O’Mara, as well as fresh claims he abused a woman as recently as seven months ago, must be fully investigated.
O’Mara was forced to apologise and resign his position on the women and equalities select committee after posts he made on forums more than a decade ago were unearthed by the Guido Fawkes website.
In them, the Sheffield Hallam MP made rape jokes, asked Girls Aloud for an orgy and branded British women “fatties”. Subsequent reports revealed he also referred to gay people as “fudge packers” and made derogatory comments about Spanish and Danish people.
O’Mara said he was “deeply ashamed” of his behaviour and no longer held such offensive views – and was backed by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, who said she was “happy to sit alongside him” on the Commons benches.
But on Tuesday, Sophie Evans came forward to tell the BBC the MP had called her “an ugly bitch” just a few months ago, shortly before he was elected to Parliament – a claim he categorically denies.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The party is investigating Jared O’Mara MP in relation to comments and behaviour which have been reported from earlier this year.”
In her letter to the Labour leader – who has so far made no comment on the incident – Greening, who is also minister for women and equalities, said: “Violent, sexist and homophobic language must have no place in our society, and parliamentarians of all parties have a duty to stamp out this sort of behaviour wherever we encounter it, and condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
“Will you be investigating the latest allegations made against Jared O’Mara MP?
“How is it that individuals who have made such remarks can be selected as Labour candidates? Will you be removing the whip from him while the investigation is carried out?
“These comments show the deep and persistent stain on Labour’s ability to represent women, the LGBT community and wider society.
“In less than a week, two of your MPs have been found to have made inappropriate comments.
“It is time you step forward, as leader of the Labour Party, and send a message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Lib Dem leader Vince Cable also called for the whip to be withdrawn from O’Mara, who defeated Nick Clegg in the 2017 general election.
He said: “This is completely unacceptable behaviour. If he did make these remarks Labour needs to withdraw the whip from him immediately.
“People must have confidence that MPs will stand up against prejudice. As MPs we cannot let ourselves fall short of those standards, particularly in our dealings with the public.
“One thing is for sure, the Labour Party need to review their selection process for general election candidates.”