A disabled MP has spoken of how being diagnosed as autistic has helped him to understand his behaviour as a younger man that led to his suspension from the Labour party.
Jared O’Mara has told Disability News Service (DNS) that he was diagnosed in January this year by a psychiatrist, three months after his suspension from the party.
He was heavily criticised by disabled campaigners last year when a series of offensive remarks he made about other minority groups and women as a younger man came to light.
But O’Mara has now appealed for understanding and forgiveness for the comments he made as a younger man on an internet chat forum, pointing out that he and other autistic people “don’t understand the social nuances of language and humour in the same way as neurotypical people do”.
The Sheffield Hallam MP told DNS this week: “I still don’t now, and I’m scared that I might be bullied again for my language choices and how I express myself.”
His comments have this week secured support from two leading autistic campaigners, who suggested that he should be forgiven.
O’Mara “unreservedly” apologised again for the comments and said he was “horrified” at the offence he had caused and still felt “so sad and ashamed”.