Jared O’Mara has announced he is quitting the Labour Party after claiming he has not been “listened to or been given a fair investigation” regarding comments he made on social media before he became an MP.
Mr O’Mara who won the Sheffield Hallam seat against Nick Clegg in 2017 was suspended from the party following a string of misogynistic and homophobic comments he made online.
The party’s national executive committee disputes panel ruled earlier this month that the case did not meet the threshold required to be referred for expulsion but that he should undergo mandatory training.
In a letter published on his website, Mr O’Mara said he was “truly sorry for any offence” from the “mistakes” he made but accused the Labour Party of not investigating properly and sharing his commitment to “equality and compassion”.
“This decision has not been taken lightly but has been made following careful reflection of the decision to re-admit me back into the Labour Party following my suspension last October,” he said.
“I feel I have not been listened to or been given a fair investigation as I do not believe they considered my supporting evidence or got in touch with my witnesses.
“Furthermore, I am of the opinion that the Labour Party no longer shares my commitment to the true definition of equality and compassion.
“There is no doubt that I made mistakes as a young man using distasteful language as a clumsy attempt at satire and sarcasm online. But that does not mean that is who I am today.
“I am sure that there may be many of us who have done things in our past which we wished we had never done.”
Mr O’Mara had said that at the height of the controversy he had made three suicide attempts.
In his letter he also suggested he will not step down as an MP, saying “I might be leaving Labour but I am still at your side”, and offering constituents help with casework.
Describing himself as “the first autistic MP in our history”, he wrote: “I didn’t commit any crimes, yet I have been made unfairly to feel like a criminal.
“Nobody should be made to feel ashamed for mistakes they make when they are young.”
He added: “I would be lying to those of you whom I represent, and those close to me like my parents and sister respectively, if I continued under the pretence that I feel there is a place of acceptance and empathy for me as a working-class, underprivileged disabled man within the Labour Party.
“I have experienced little to make me feel welcome, understood and accepted during this last year.”
A Labour Party spokesman said: “We’re disappointed Jared has decided to resign from Labour after we won the Sheffield Hallam seat from Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems last year.
“We wish him well for the future.”