MP Jared O'Mara has quit the Labour Party after claiming he was made to "feel like a criminal" over homophobic comments he made online.
O'Mara was suspended in October over the alleged posts made on a music forum between 2002 and 2004 when he was a Labour candidate. According to reports, O'Mara referred to gay people as "fudge packers" and "poofters" and said anal sex was like "driving up the Marmite motorway".
The Sheffield Hallam MP was reinstated on Tuesday (July 10), with officials claiming he would attend training and be given a formal warning. However, O'Mara has now announced his resignation, claiming he hadn't been given a fair investigation by Labour.
In an open letter on his website, O'Mara said: "It is with great sadness that today I have decided to announce my departure from the Labour Party with immediate effect. 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 continued: "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."
O'Mara apologised for any offence his comments had caused before insisting he didn't commit any crimes but had been made to feel "like a criminal".
The 36-year-old politician added: "Nobody should be made to feel ashamed for mistakes they made when they were young. Someone from a youth charity recently said to me that 'young people should be free to be anti-social'. I was not anti-social by definition but agree with the sentiment. It's part of learning and growing up."
He ended the statement by saying: "I am not perfect, but nor are any of us. And that isn't a bad thing. We all need to love ourselves and forgive our mistakes, foibles and flaws. Let us all instead celebrate our good qualities and strengths.
"This is what life experiences to date has taught me and I must share that with you all."