Simon Danczuk, the Labour Party parliamentary candidate, says he is not complacent about his opponents in the General Election and that it is up to the people of this town to decide who represents them.
Speaking to Rochdale Online, Mr Danczuk said: “To me party political politics doesn’t come into it so if people decide that someone else can do this job better than me then it is for them to decide. I am never complacent and don’t worry about my opponents.”
Mr Danczuk will be fighting to retain the Rochdale seat in the General Election in May following his election as the town's MP in 2010.
Speaking about the last five years as the town's MP, he said: “The last five years have been busy and full of hard work. We have achieved a lot and done things I am very proud of not only on a local level but on a national level as well. We have a Labour party that has committed to reducing business rates and we have a Conservative party who are committed to reducing business rates so whoever wins, I think we made a success with business rates.
“I have helped to introduce the scheme in which there is a reduction in rates for businesses in the town centre and I think that is certainly something that will work in Rochdale.
“We have worked hard on the significant regeneration of Rochdale. I have met with the investors of the Rochdale Exchange and I also helped with the new bus station and transport interchange.
“In terms of case work over the years, we have seen over 6,000 cases come through the office and that is something I am proud of. Some of them are issues that are dealt with locally but some have made it to a national level including the murder of Khuram Shaikh and getting justice for him. Sheila Holt was another case that received national attention and as an MP I am proud to have issues heard on a national level because that is something that not all MPs have achieved.
“The work surrounding grooming and child sexual exploitation is also an issue that needed to be dealt with. I am proud to say that there are now less people committing those crimes because the police and other agencies are working on the issue. Working with the police to do that is something I am incredibly proud of.
“My office is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm and only closes on bank holidays. We don’t take weeks off at Christmas and weeks off for long periods in the summer. I say this because some MPs do that and we don’t because we are committed to helping the people of this town.”
When asked if it was an easy decision to make as to whether or not to stand in the election again, Mr Danczuk admitted that his job is certainly a hard one.
He said: “I am a workaholic and I am consumed by work. I don’t have many hobbies outside of this so that makes it enjoyable. It is a great privilege to be the MP of this town and I think the town deserves an MP who is going to stand up and represent it properly.
“It can be a hard job and it can put pressure on your family and people who haven’t done the job don’t know how hard it is but saying that, it is also a very rewarding job.
“I am always out campaigning and that never stops so I am not doing anything different now to what I normally do. I may take a few weeks off in the summer but that is about it. I do spend a lot of time in London as well but I always try to be out and about when in Rochdale.”
Mr Danczuk took the seat from former Liberal Democrat MP Paul Rowen in 2010 but doesn’t think the seat is safe Labour.
“I would never say that this is a safe Labour seat, I would say that this is a seat for someone who wants to represent the town,” said Mr Danczuk.
For those voters who are unsure who to vote for yet or for first time voters voting in the General Election, Mr Danczuk believes that if you vote for him then you will get a confident MP who will represent Rochdalians well.
He said: “People will get a confident MP in Simon Danczuk and will get an MP who will represent Rochdalians. If they want someone who will do the work and represent them and someone who is helping the town on a national level as well as a local level then they should vote for me.”