‘People should call women c***s more often’: Female employee, 20, who was hounded by shamed MP Jared O’Mara exposes his crude texts and comments to staff as she speaks for first time
- Jennifer Barnes, 20, says she was subjected to a campaign of sexual harassment
- She says Mr O’Mara, 37, called himself ‘Thrush’ and sent misogynistic messages
- Mr O’Mara denies that the messages were sexual and has no feelings for her
A female employee who worked for shamed MP Jared O’Mara has revealed that he told his staff to call women by the C-word more often and that a young female politician had ‘repressed sexual feelings’ for him.
Jennifer Barnes, 20, exposed the crude comments made by the Sheffield Hallam MP after he subjected her to a lengthy campaign of sexual harassment.
She said that the MP hounded her with inappropriate text messages and phone calls containing misogynistic comments.
Jennifer Barnes, 20, exposed the crude comments made by the Sheffield Hallam MP after he subjected her to a lengthy campaign of sexual harassment
In a series of text messages seen by The Times, Mr O’Mara, 37, told staff members: ‘I’ll have to nickname myself ‘Thrush’ because I irritate c***s.’
Ms Barnes noted that she ‘never gave him any indication I was interested in him’ and expressed frustration at the abuse of power by male MPs over female staff.
Mr O’Mara is understood to have also sent abusive messages to a potential Liberal Democrat candidate for his seat, Laura Gordon 35.
The 37-year-old wrote to the prospective MP that she had ‘repressed sexual feelings’ for him before signing off the message with ‘Thrush’.
Mr O’Mara, who resigned from Labour to sit as an independent MP, said that he was stepping aside ‘for a few weeks’ to find help for ‘mental health and personal issues’
Earlier this month a report by an inquiry into Westminster misconduct found that sexual harassment of staff by MPs needed an ‘urgent response’.
Mr O’Mara, who resigned from Labour to sit as an independent MP, said that he was stepping aside ‘for a few weeks’ to find help for ‘mental health and personal issues’.
He added that his encounter with a staff member was a ‘delusional episode’ brought on by ‘self-medication’.
He said: ‘The messages I said that were not of a sober or rational mind and felt like an out of body experience when I sent them but I know that does not excuse my actions because I should not have been self-medicating with a drink to get into that state’.
Ms Barnes, who had been working for Mr O’Mara since May, said that the independent MP needed help but that it was no excuse for this behaviour.
Though Mr O’Mara accepts that he sent the messages, he iterated that they were not sexual in nature and that he has no feelings for Ms Barnes.