After Monday bought revelations that Jared O’Mara filed £30,000 in fraudulent coke-fuelled expenses, the disgraced ex-Labour MP yesterday faced his second day in court. Those who have followed Jared’s parliamentary career won’t be surprised to hear that he didn’t actually turn up – he appeared via video link.
The court heard Georgia Wilson as its first witness, the director of MP services for IPSA. Wilson first became aware of O’Mara in July 2019, when a £3,000 expenses claim had to be filed with the police – after this she made sure O’Mara’s claims received more intense scrutiny. Wilson took up some of his discrepancies, and failure to file expenses on time, with the ex-MP, who cited staffing issues. He also blamed a “torn bicep”.
Wilson then discussed the invoices from Confident About Autism SY – an organisation that doesn’t actually exist. She described “amateurish” counterfeits, with differing fonts, formats and issues with serial numbers. After O’Mara had announced his resignation, he then asked Wilson to reimburse him for his filed expenses – he claimed his police investigation was over. It wasn’t.
Wilson went on to paint the picture of an office in disarray. She describes “growing dysfunction” as O’Mara was haemorrhaging staff, and that any interactions with IPSA were on an ad hoc basis. As O’Mara reported himself sick to the Commons, she says the MP was “garbled” and “self-contradictory”, adding it was clear there were issues around his mental state. The trial continues.