Ex-MP Jared O’Mara denies fraud over parliamentary invoices

O’Mara, who represented Sheffield Hallam until 2019, was charged with two other men.

Ex-MP Jared O’Mara denies fraud over parliamentary invoices

Former MP Jared O’Mara has denied making fraudulent invoices to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

O’Mara, 39, who represented the constituency of Sheffield Hallam until 2019, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates Court by videolink on Friday with former aide Gareth Arnold, 28, and another man, John Woodliff, 42, both appearing in person.

He pleaded not guilty to seven counts of fraud by false representation and another charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Jared O’Mara court case
Gareth Arnold, a former aide to former Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara has denied six counts of fraud by false representation (Danny Lawson/PA)

He stayed in office as an independent MP but did not contest the 2019 general election.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is the body that regulates MPs’ staffing and business costs as well as their pay and pensions.

The fraud charges faced by O’Mara involve sums totalling £28,700 alleged to have been claimed dishonestly from IPSA.

O'Mara during a committee meeting in the House of Commons
O’Mara during a committee meeting in the House of Commons (PA)

The offences are alleged to have occurred in periods between October 2018 and February last year.

Arnold, of School Lane, Dronfield, Derbyshire, denied six counts of fraud by false representation.

Woodliff, of Hesley Road, Sheffield, denied a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Jared O’Mara court case
John Woodliff has denied a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act (Danny Lawson/PA)

Arnold and Woodliff stood in the glass-fronted dock in Court 1 for the five-minute hearing.

Arnold wore a blue suit and an open-neck white shirt. Woodliff was in a grey shirt with a black tie and no jacket.

District Judge Paul Goldspring said the case needed to be heard by a crown court judge.

He told the three defendants they will next appear at Sheffield Crown Court on October 25.

They were given unconditional bail.

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