Labour’s Kate Osamor is let off with a warning by MPs’ standards watchdog after threatening to attack a journalist with ‘a bat’ for visiting her home to ask questions about her aide son’s drug conviction
- She threatened to ‘come down here with a bat and smashed your face in’
- Times reporter went to her home after her son Ishmael’s conviction in 2018
- He was found with £2,500 of class A and B drugs at Bestival music festival 2017
Former Labour shadow minister Kate Osamor was let off with a warning by the standards watchdog today after threatening to attack a journalist after her son was convicted of drugs offences.
The Edmonton MP threatened to ‘come down here with a bat and smashed your face in’ after a Times reporter came to her £700,000 home in November 2018 following the conviction of Ishmael Osamor.
The astonishing exchange was captured on body cameras at the time by police officers who were at the scene.
She later quit as shadow international development secretary after it was revealed she has used her official House of Commons notepaper to write a letter to the court begging for leniency for her son.
He was convicted of having £2,500 of class A and B drugs at the Bestival music festival in September 2017.
At the time he she employed him as her chief of staff on a salary of up to £43,835 year, with a parliamentary pass allowing him access to the heart of Westminster.
But today the standards committee ordered that despite agreeing she had brought Parliament into disrepute she need only make a written apology to the Commonns.
They ruled that having to resign her frontbench role was enough of a punishment.
In their report, published today, they claimed the threat to attack the journalist was merely ‘a hot-blooded reaction to a difficult personal situation’, after she claimed she had been the victim of ‘media harassment’.
‘Although the language used by Ms Osamor to the journalist on 30 November 2018 was extreme and highly regrettable, we believe that the strain and pressure she was under as a result of a long period of continuous scrutiny of her family affairs should be taken into account,’ they ruled.
‘So should the wider context of threats and abuse which she and her staff experienced over a number of months prior to this incident.’
The Edmonton MP threatened to ‘come down here with a bat and smashed your face in’ after a Times reporter came to her £700,000 home in November 2018 following the conviction of Ishmael Osamor (pictured with his mother)
He was convicted of having £2,500 of class A and B drugs at the Bestival music festival in September 2017
The haul included 30.89g of ecstasy, enough to make around 250 pills, 5.7g of ketamine, which might produce up to 100 hits, 7.5 grams of cocaine and a small amount of cannabis, according to court documents
They also excused her use of the notepaper, saying: ‘As the Clerk of the Journals observed, the inappropriate use of House-supplied stationery was ”at the milder end of inappropriate because the text of the letter itself is clearly in a personal capacity and does not pretend to any parliamentary authority”.
‘It is worth emphasising that there is nothing wrong in itself in supplying a character reference to a sentencing hearing.
‘Ms Osamor, as she now accepts, should not have done so on stationery bearing the crowned portcullis, but we note that there might be other circumstances in which a Member might properly use such stationery to supply a character reference for one of the staff in their parliamentary office.’
The Edmonton MP, 51, resigned from her role as Labour’s international development spokesman in December 2018 after it emerged she had falsely claimed she did not know about her son’s case.
She had said she was unaware of his arrest until after he was sentenced the previous October. However, she had written to the judge to plead for a short sentence.
Mr Osamor stood down as a Labour councillor in Haringey, north London, following his guilty plea to charges of possession to supply class A and class B drugs.
The haul included 30.89g of ecstasy, enough to make around 250 pills, 5.7g of ketamine, which might produce up to 100 hits, 7.5 grams of cocaine and a small amount of cannabis, according to court documents.
In her evidence to the standards watchdog’s investigation, Ms Osamor claimed reporters ‘were camped outside her house, photographed her son on his way to and from the house, and door-stepped her 80-year-old mother’.
She also objected to pictures of her home being taken and published on safety grounds.
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