Kate Osamor, then Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, with Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour party conference in Liverpool last year
A Labour MP used House of Commons notepaper to plead with a judge to spare her son jail for drugs charges.
Kate Osamor introduced herself as the shadow international development secretary before begging the judge to give her ‘beautiful son’ Ishmael Osamor a ‘second chance’.
She also used her job title as MP for Edmonton in North London, even though she is not her son’s constituency MP and was writing in a personal capacity.
Miss Osamor had claimed to be completely unaware of her son’s most recent conviction before it was exposed by the Daily Mail. But her letter proves she was fully aware of what he had done. She had not informed Labour Party officials of the case at the time.
The two-page letter features the crowned portcullis, the emblem of the Commons, which normally features only on official correspondence.
Last night MPs accused Miss Osamor, 50, of using the emblem, along with her parliamentary credentials, to try to influence the judiciary.
The letter was written on October 8 last year, two weeks before her son, 30, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court for having £2,500 worth of drugs including ecstasy and ketamine at a music festival.
The document was revealed yesterday, along with a letter from Osamor himself urging Judge Stephen Climie to ‘be merciful and not punitive’ in his sentencing.
Kate Osamor, left, and her son Ishmael, right, both wrote to the judge to please for a non-custodial sentence after he was found with £2,500 worth of drugs at Bestival
In his letter, the former Labour councillor admitted having a previous conviction for an offence committed 12 years ago but insisted he was ‘not a criminal’. His solicitor confirmed last night that it was not a drug-related offence and that Osamor was 17 at the time.
Part of his mother’s letter reads: ‘I am shaken by how difficult this is to write. I wish there was an ideal place to begin. But where does one start when your son has come into this position. What keeps me believing in him and loving him is the fact that he is a good person that came from a good home.’
She resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet in November after her lies unravelled and she threatened to beat a reporter with a bat when asked about the case.
Kate Osamor’s letter to the court
I am writing on behalf of Ishmael Osamor who is standing before you today.
I would like to introduce myself as Kate Osamor, Member of Parliament for Edmonton and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. It’s not my intent to argue the facts of his case, instead I will do the best I can to communicate to you my son’s real character.
I regret the fact that this letter is necessary. I am shaken by how difficult this letter is for me to write. I wish there was an ideal place to begin. But where does one start when your son has come into this position.
Labour MP Kate Osamor wrote to the judge on headed House of Commons notepaper in a plea for clemency for her son after he was caught with £2,500 worth of drugs
What keeps me believing in him and loving him is the fact that he is a good person that came from a good home. I wish more than anything that you, the man who decides his fate, could know him like I do.
Ishmael is well-regarded among our community as a person of high integrity and honesty. And as a result was recently elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Haringey.
I’m proud to acknowledge Ishmael is becoming a vital pillar in our local community, speaking up for young black men and women as a Councillor.
In recent years Ishmael has worked in my office, proving to be an integral part of my team. It is hard to overstate the benefits, however Ishmael has displayed his range of attributes necessary for leading a successful office through times of political turmoil.
And without his help and loyalty my role as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development would have been unhermetic. Your honour, I understand the charge against him needs to be taken seriously but the thought of you taking my son into custody feels like a bereavement, he is such a positive force in my life and I cannot recognise life without him. I hope there are options available to help Ishmael atone for his mistake without tearing my family apart.
This case has rocked my son, I have never witnessed such a shift in his behaviour, at times it has deflated his self-esteem and purpose. After speaking with Ishmael I am without ambiguity that he is incredibly remorseful and willing to make reparations.
But to do that, he needs you to give him an opportunity to have a second chance.
I implore you to recognise the power you yield with regard to the future of my beautiful son and make a fair decision.
Member of Parliament for Edmonton
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Last night she said in a statement through her son’s lawyers: ‘I would like to apologise if any of my actions or words have been misinterpreted by others in any way over recent months.’
The judge’s decision to release the letters, used as character references in court, marks a legal victory for the Daily Mail and other newspapers, which had argued for their release on the grounds of public interest.
Ishmael Osamor hired high-profile barrister Sasha Wass, QC – who prosecuted disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris – to fight the media’s application.
Judge Climie also revealed the names of three of Osamor’s friends who gave character references: Levan Udi, understood to be a relation of Osamor, Penelope Bowers and Stephanie Gabriel.
Kate Osamor and her son Ishmael. At Ishmael’s trial the judge, Stephen Climie, said a normal sentence would have been three to four years in prison, but he allowed the young man to walk away with 200 hours of community service. Judge Climie reached that decision after reading five letters supplied by the defence including the two from Osamor and his mother
Last night Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan demanded the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards investigate whether Miss Osamor had breached the rules on the use of Commons stationery. She said: ‘It is deeply disappointing to see a fellow colleague use their position in this way to try to influence our judiciary.’
Tory MP Simon Hoare said: ‘Miss Osamor should now finally apologise as this letter shows that she misled the public in her account of what she knew and when she knew it.’ Ishmael Osamor was caught with 30.89g of ecstasy, 5.7g of ketamine, 7.5 grams of cocaine and a small amount of cannabis at the Bestival music festival in Dorset in September 2017.
He 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. He avoided a prison sentence and was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work instead.
It is understood he remains in his job as his mother’s chief of staff, which provides him with a parliamentary pass.
In her statement last night, Miss Osamor added: ‘The issue concerning my son was and remains a private family matter. Nothing that my son did had impacted upon his work in my office or upon my work within the constituency.’
Ishmael Osamor’s letter to the court
ISHMAEL Osamor insisted in his letter to the judge that he was not a criminal and had simply ‘got caught up in the festival environment’.
The MP’s son, who paid £2,500 for drugs at the Bestival event, asked Judge Stephen Climie to take his case ‘into your heart’ and warned that a prison sentence would ‘tear my life to pieces’.
Ishmael Osamor wrote to the judge to say ‘I am not a criminal’ and pointed to his work for his mother as evidence of his good character
He revealed that he had previously committed a criminal offence as a minor, but said ‘I am not a criminal’ and called for the judge to be ‘merciful not punitive’ when considering his drugs offences.
In the letter, dated October 12 last year, Osamor drew attention to his job as his mother’s chief of staff in Parliament as an indicator of his ‘positively progressive’ political career.
He had ‘changed considerably’ in the 13 months since his arrest and it was ‘extremely hard for me to conceive ever having the desire to enter in any such criminality again’.
Describing a prison sentence as the ‘least effective’ form of rehabilitation, he added: ‘I sincerely regret and feel horrible about this, and have been punishing myself.’