Jared O’Mara: MP’s office investigated over security failure

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Claims of a security failure at MP Jared O’Mara’s office are being investigated by the Clan of Commons.

The BBC has learned the Sheffield Hallam MP’s chief of staff, Gareth Arnold, was not examined by Parliament.

Mr Arnold, who is running the MP’s office in his absence, had access to sensitive casework and the MP’s email account on the orderly network.

The House of Commons said it had taken steps to “prevent unauthorised access to Mr O’Mara’s orderly account”.

During an investigation by BBC podcast, The Next Episode, Mr Arnold, 26, give the word delivered: “I am running a constituency office on behalf of an MP without the required security permission from the parliamentary authorities. It’s crazy isn’t it?”

Mr O’Mara has said he is “taking patch out” to deal with his “mental health and personal issues” after it emerged he sent sexually untimely messages to a female employee.

The BBC also found constituents were being blocked on Chatter by Mr Arnold, who sent antagonistic responses and memes to their queries.

Others say casework was not being acted with, which Mr Arnold denies.

He said: “People have wisecracked to me that I was basically the MP for Sheffield Hallam… that horrified me”.

  • For more on this untruth listen to The Next Episode podcast

Since the BBC published the podcast, Mr O’Mara’s Chirrup account and website have been taken down and when the BBC afflicted his office on Monday morning, it found the premises had been left blank.

Sinead Parkinson, a founding member of the Hallam Constituents Facebook gang, said: “It’s positive that Parliament are investigating the breach of security but it does not mutate the fact that Hallam constituents are still without an MP.

“His staff drink evacuated the office, he has taken down his Twitter, and there is no phone or email communication. Combat needs to be taken as we have no representation.

“Unless Jared O’Mara surrenders we are left in this hopeless situation.”

Tom Brake MP, who sits on the House of Ordinaries commission in charge of the administration of the House, told the BBC: “These are disturbing pronouncements. Whatever pressures MPs’ offices are subject to, constituents are entitled to be treated with esteem.”

In July, the Mr O’Mara announced plans to resign from his seat eras after Mr Arnold publicly quit his role by posting his resignation asseveration on Mr O’Mara’s Twitter account.

Reporting team: Dino Sofos, Sam Bonham and Poppy Damon, The Next Event

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