Cor­bynista MP quits af­ter she threat­ens to beat jour­nal­ist with a bat

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Bren­dan Car­lin and Ben Fish­wick

A KEY Jeremy Cor­byn ally was forced to quit yes­ter­day af­ter be­ing ac­cused of want­ing to ‘smash the face in’ of a re­porter ask­ing when she first knew about her son’s drug of­fences con­vic­tion.

Kate Osamor re­signed from Labour’s Shadow Cabi­net hours af­ter re­ports she had told the jour­nal­ist to ‘f*** off’ from out­side her home and thrown a bucket of wa­ter at him.

Ms Osamor, whose son Ish­mael pleaded guilty in Septem­ber to hav­ing £2,500 worth of drugs with in­tent to sup­ply, also al­legedly told the re­porter she ‘should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in’.

The North Lon­don MP was be­ing chal­lenged to an­swer claims she had mis­led the pub­lic over when she first knew of the drugs con­vic­tion against her son, whom she still em­ploys in her Com­mons of­fice.

But within barely 24 hours of the con­fronta­tion, Ms Osamor – a close sup­porter of the Labour leader – quit as Mr Cor­byn’s Shadow In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary and Mr Cor­byn was forced to in­ter­rupt a trip to Mex­ico, for the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the coun­try’s new pres­i­dent, to con­firm she was go­ing.

Her de­par­ture amounts to a per­sonal hu­mil­i­a­tion for the Labour leader who has stood by Ms Osamor and who nom­i­nated her mother, com­mu­nity ac­tivist Martha Osamor, for a peer­age, which she is for­mally due to take up this week.

The North Lon­don MP has faced ques­tions over when she first knew of her son’s con­vic­tion and her de­ci­sion to con­tinue to em­ploy him in her Com­mons of­fice.

Labour has pre­vi­ously in­sisted she was un­aware of the case un­til her son was sen­tenced in Oc­to­ber.

But yes­ter­day, The Times re­vealed that she wrote to the trial judge ask­ing for le­niency for Ish­mael, 29, and stress­ing his re­morse.

When the news­pa­per went to ques­tion Ms Osamor at her home on Fri­day night, she re­port­edly heaped abuse on the re­porter and called in the po­lice, ac­cus­ing him of stalk­ing her.

A Met spokesman said: ‘Of­fi­cers at­tended and spoke with both par­ties. No of­fences were dis­closed and no fur­ther al­le­ga­tions were made to po­lice.’ But when The Mail on Sun­day called at her prop­erty yes­ter­day, she de­clined to an­swer the door and in­stead sent a Sky tech­ni­cian work­ing at her home to say she was ‘not avail­able’ while she called the po­lice again.

On this oc­ca­sion, Scot­land Yard dis­patched four of­fi­cers. While two went in­side the house, the oth­ers po­si­tioned them­selves out­side in a car and asked The Mail on Sun­day re­porter what he was do­ing.

Later, one of the of­fi­cers emerged to say that Ms Osamor re­gret­ted threat­en­ing The Times re­porter.

‘She was a bit tired, emo­tional... a lit­tle bit upset,’ he said. ‘I think she re­acted in a way she re­grets now.’ When this news­pa­per asked the Met to ex­plain why four of­fi­cers were dis­patched be­cause a jour­nal­ist knocked on her door, a spokesman said: ‘We can’t say.’

But last night, one Labour MP said pri­vately: ‘At time of stab­bings across Lon­don, should we re­ally be send­ing four of­fi­cers to help out an MP who’s try­ing to avoid an­swer­ing le­git­i­mate ques­tions?’

Ms Osamor did not re­spond to ques­tions from The Mail on Sun­day about her be­hav­iour on Fri­day evening. But she faced mock­ery yes­ter­day for tweet­ing ear­lier on Fri­day how she had been ‘knock­ing on doors in Ed­mon­ton… speak­ing to res­i­dents about the re­cent vi­o­lent in­ci­dents’.

In her res­ig­na­tion state­ment, Ms Osamor said she was quit­ting ‘to con­cen­trate on sup­port­ing my fam­ily through the dif­fi­cult time we have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing’.

Mr Cor­byn thanked her for her work as ‘our Shadow Sec­re­tary of State for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment’ adding: ‘She brought a new di­men­sion to the role by com­mit­ting Labour to tack­ling global in­equal­ity as well as poverty as part of build­ing a world for the many not the few. I know Kate will take this time to sup­port her fam­ily, work for her con­stituents and sup­port our party’s ef­forts to re­build Bri­tain from the back­benches.’

But one se­nior Labour Shadow Min­is­ter said: ‘If she did be­have as re­ported, it’s a dis­grace.

‘MPs are try­ing to stamp out West­min­ster’s bul­ly­ing rep­u­ta­tion – you can’t have an MP seem­ingly threat­en­ing vi­o­lence against a re­porter do­ing their job.’

AL­LIES: Kate Osamor with Jeremy Cor­byn CALL OUT: Po­lice at Ms Osamor’s home yes­ter­day dur­ing the MoS’s visit

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.