Kate Osamor Plagiarised Maiden Speech from Wikipedia, Local Newsletter and Her Predecessor

Last week it emerged Labour’s Shadow DFID spokesman Kate Osamor had copied Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on the night of her election, changing the word “America” to “Edmonton”. Now Guido can reveal new examples of plagiarism, this time from Osamor’s maiden speech delivered in the House of Commons on 2 June 2015. The new MP copied whole passages almost word-for-word from a local newsletter, Wikipedia and her predecessor’s maiden speech…

As recorded by Hansard, Osamor said during her maiden speech:

“The name Edmonton is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The medieval parish was centred on the church of All Saints, the oldest building in the borough of Enfield, which is still in use. There are several other listed buildings in Church Street, such as Lamb’s Cottage, the Charity School Hall, the former Charles Lamb Institute, and some Georgian houses. In the 1970s it was designated the first conservation area in Edmonton and there are now three others. In 1996 the Montagu cemeteries, comprising the Tottenham Park and Jewish cemeteries, were also designated because of their unique landscape qualities.”

This paragraph was lifted almost word-for-word from the Enfield Society summer 2011 newsletter:

The name Edmonton is of Anglo-Saxon origin, Eadhelms’ Farm, and shows that there has been a settlement in this area for hundreds of years. Its medieval parish was centred round the church of All Saints, probably the oldest building in the Borough of Enfield still in use. There are several other listed buildings in Church Street such as Lamb’s Cottage, the Charity School Hall, the former Charles Lamb Institute, and some Georgian houses, so it was designated the first Conservation area in Edmonton in 1970. There are now three others. In 1996, the Montague Cemeteries, comprising the Tottenham Park and Jewish Cemeteries, were designated because of their unique landscape qualities.”

Osamor’s speech continues:

“Since the 1960s Edmonton has been transformed from a predominantly white, working-class industrial suburb into a multicultural area through Commonwealth immigration, asylum seekers and the expansion of the European Union in May 2004. Edmonton Green ward has been identified as having one of the highest numbers of working-age adults living on state benefits in the UK… 

Up to 5,000 new homes and 3,000 new jobs will be created by the £1.5 billion Meridian Water redevelopment on a former industrial site”

This passage was lifted almost directly from the Wikipedia entry on Enfield as it read a month before Osamor delivered her speech:

Finally, Osamor copied huge swathes of her predecessor’s maiden speech. Osamor said:

“I stood for election as a Labour and Co-operative candidate, and now I have the privilege of representing the Co-operative movement in the House. With my colleagues, I hope to bring its principles, values and experience to bear on Members’ deliberations… Much of the industry for which Edmonton was famous—furniture making, electrical goods and electronics —has disappeared or moved to greenfield sites… Edmonton is a community of many contrasts. Alongside increasing prosperity, many people suffer considerable hardship and deprivation… It is a great honour to represent the people of Edmonton and I thank them for electing me as their Member of Parliament.”

She directly copied, but re-ordered, the sentences above from her predecessor, Andy Love, who delivered his maiden speech on 4th June 1997:

It is a great honour to represent the people of Edmonton and I thank them for electing me as their Member of Parliament…  I stood for election as a Labour and Co-operative candidate and now have the privilege of representing the Co-operative movement in the House. With my colleagues, I hope to bring its principles, values and experience to bear on hon. Members’ deliberations… Much of the industry for which Edmonton was famous—furniture, electrical goods and electronics—has disappeared or moved to green-field sites… Edmonton is a community of many contrasts. Alongside increasing prosperity, many people suffer considerable hardship and deprivation.”

Usually MPs use their maiden speech to tell the House a heart-warming story about their journey to parliament and their connections to their constituency. Does Osamor not have any original thoughts of her own?




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