Former Sheffield MP Jared O’Mara has denied making fraudulent expenses claims totalling £28,650, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
O’Mara, who appeared via video link today, has been accused of submitting several false invoices to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, the body who regulates MPs’ staffing and business costs.
The former Sheffield Hallam MP denied all seven counts of fraud put to him.
O’Mara, 39, of Walker Close, Sheffield, appeared in court alongside his former aide Gareth Arnold, 28, of School Lane, Dronfield, who denied six counts of fraud.
They were also joined by John Woodliff, 42, of Hesley Road, Sheffield, who faced an additional charge alongside O’Mara under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which was not read out in court. No pleas were entered to this count during the hearing.
The offences are alleged to have occurred at various points between 2018 and 2019, with some of the invoices concerning services provided by Arnold and others to organisations in South Yorkshire.
The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, did not fix a date for the trial but said it was likely the case would be moved to another Crown Court.
O’Mara, who grew up in the city and went to Tapton School, served as MP for Sheffield Hallam between June 2017 and November 2019.
In 2017, he was suspended from the Labour party after sexist and homophobic comments he made on social media whilst he was in his twenties were brought to wider attention. He was later readmitted to the party.
O’Mara, who was a former DJ at the popular West Street Live bar in the city centre and has cerebral palsy and autism, later said those events led him to make three attempts at taking his own life.
All three men were released on unconditional bail.