Danczuk expenses claims to be investigated by Metropolitan Police
Date published: 05 March 2016
Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk's expenses claims will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service's 'Homicide and Major Crime Command' Unit, the Operational Head of the Met's Special Enquiry Team has confirmed.
In a letter to Rochdale Lib Dem David Hennigan, Detective Inspector Howard Holt said: "I am the Operational Head of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Special Enquiry Team, a unit from the Homicide and Major Crime Command. My team have the responsibility for assessing allegations of crime relating to matters of fraud and misconduct by those in a public office.
Following on from your letter, dated 25 January 2016, I can confirm that my team are in the process of assessing the allegations that you make. They are in contact with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and we will then conduct our own enquiries to determine whether any criminal offences have been committed."
Mr Danczuk has claimed thousands of pounds in 'dependants' expenses for the two eldest of his children despite not seeing them for years.
IPSA states dependants are people for whom MPs have caring responsibilities. The money is paid if “the dependant routinely resides at the rented accommodation”.
In an exclusive interview with Rochdale Online, subsequently referred to by a number of regional and national media organisations, Sonia Rossington, the mother of Mr Danczuk's two eldest children, confirmed they had never stayed at Mr Danczuk's London flat in Pimlico.
Mr Danczuk's son, George, 18, also said exclusively to Rochdale Online: "He never contacts us or mum for us to see him."
Rochdale Lib Dem Leader Andy Kelly said: "This whole affair is dragging our town through the mire. It is only right and proper that the Met in London investigate. These are extremely serious allegations involving tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer's cash. We look forward to a swift conclusion to these matters that could see Mr Danczuk go to jail."
David Hennigan said: "Mr Danczuk has displayed a cavalier attitude to claiming from the public and we will be fully cooperating with the Police to ensure any investigation is robust and fair."
The provisional findings of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) investigation into Mr Danczuk's expenses claims are expected to be published within the next month, said Chris Veck, IPSA Investigations Officer.
Mr Veck explained: "The Compliance Officer is currently drafting his Statement of Provisional Findings in relation to the investigation. Once drafted, it is sent to both IPSA and the MP for representations to be made. Following this, both the Statement of Provisional Findings and the representations are published on the Compliance Officer’s website."
A rape allegation against Mr Danczuk dating from 2006 - that Mr Danczuk says is "malicious, untrue and upsetting" - is still being investigated. Mr Danczuk was interviewed under caution by Lancashire Police regarding the rape allegation in January.
Mr Danczuk, who remains suspended from the Labour party due to his sending sex messages to a 17-year-old girl, has been invited to comment.
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