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Simon Danczuk: A turbulent year in the life of a disgraced MP

Date published: 20 March 2016


March 2015

  • Censured by the Parliamentary Committee on Standards for failing to register his outside earnings in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests within the 28 days required - in one instance as late as 14 months after he received the money.

  • Public row with outspoken Sun columnist Katie Hopkins after Mr Danczuk reported her to the police for possible race hate crimes.


May 2015

  • Retained his seat with the largest majority ever achieved in Rochdale.

  • Caused a storm of protest by posting a tweet condemned as "sexist" by critics. Mr Danczuk posted: "People often ask what attracted me to the gorgeous 34E @KarenDanczuk - here's the reason", followed by a photo of a fried breakfast cooked by his wife.

 Simon Danczuk 'sexist' tweet
Simon Danczuk 'sexist' tweet 

 

  • Backed Liz Kendall in the Labour leadership contest.  


June 2015

  • In an interview published in the Sunday Times magazine, Mr Danczuk is compared to ‘Joey Essex’ and Mrs Danczuk described as a “professional sex object”. The author of the piece, Camilla Long, added: “I have never met a family so chaotic. (During the interview she cries and then Simon cries, both swear and loudly slag other people off and everyone behaves as if this is a perfectly normal Sunday morning).”  

 

Sunday Times cover
Sunday Times cover 

 

  • The owner of 4-6 The Walk, Steven Butterfield, obtained a County Court Judgment (CCJ) for £2045.32 plus £217 costs against Karen Danczuk. 4-6 The Walk was the premises of Danczuk's Deli, a business owned by Mr and Mrs Danczuk that ceased trading with thousands of pounds of unpaid debts.

  • Mr Danczuk and his wife Karen separate. Mrs Danczuk said their marriage was sexless and in response to an interview Mr Danczuk gave in The Sun accused Mr Danczuk of being a bad tempered alcoholic - she posted a tweet saying: I'm disgusted by the Sun's story. Pure lies! I know truth, he knows truth! #alcoholic #arrogant #badtemper #goodwithhis... #truthwillout.

  • Matt Baker, Mr Danczuk's controversial spin doctor for eight years, revealed to be leaving his job with Mr Danczuk.


July 2015

  • The investigation into claims by Mr Danczuk that former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith was found with child abuse images in the boot of his car on the M1 in Northamptonshire during the 1980s was closed due to a lack of evidence.

  • Mr Danczuk said he was stepping back from campaigning against child sexual abuse to seek help for depression and suicidal thoughts.

  • In an interview on ITV This Morning, Mr Danczuk claimed he wanted to get back together with Karen. He said: "I love Karen dearly, she's the mother of our two beautiful children... Of course I'd like us to get back together."

  • The Mail on Sunday published an article entitled 'The dark side of the Danczuks' claiming to reveal disturbing new details of an incident between Mr Danczuk and Karen in Alicante in 2009 (in fact, the details of the incident had been reported by Rochdale Online in 2009) alleging that although he was apparently provoked, Mr Danczuk not only abandoned but physically assaulted Karen. 

 

Mail on Sunday - The dark side of The Danczuks
Mail on Sunday - The dark side of The Danczuks

 

August 2015

  • Caused outrage with an interview on LBC in which he suggested the democratic vote of Labour members in their choice of the new party leader should effectively be ignored. Asked whether he would be plotting against Mr Corbyn “on day one” he said: “Yeah, if not before. As soon as the result comes out." 

  • Angers Labour party members and supporters when it is revealed he received £10,000 for an article he "contributed" just five hours of his time too - £2,000 an hour. The payment was received by the Labour MP from the Murdoch owned News Group Newspapers, publisher of the Tory supporting newspaper, The Sun.


September 2015

  • More anger from Labour supporters as it is revealed Mr Danczuk received another £14,000 for articles he "contributed" just fourteen hours of his time too - £1,000 an hour. The £14,000 received by the Labour MP was from DMGT PLC, publisher of Tory supporting newspaper, The Daily Mail.

  • It was revealed that Karen Danczuk was paid for a staggering 621 hours overtime on top of her salary whilst she was working for Mr Danczuk in his constituency office.

  • Reported to have been overheard whilst in the Cemetery pub in Rochdale saying that he would resign if Mr Corbyn won, however, Mr Danczuk denied this - Jeremy Corbyn elected the Labour Party leader by a landslide, with 60% of the vote.

  • Matt Baker, the former spin doctor of Mr Danczuk, accused of a "vile attack" and "smear campaign" after he was revealed as the author of an email sent (whilst employed by Mr Danczuk) that made very serious and highly damaging allegations about former Rochdale Council leader, Colin Lambert and a former Mayor of Rochdale, Robin Parker - allegations which they said are completely without foundation and "libelous".

  

Danczuk spin doctor Matt Baker
Danczuk spin doctor Matt Baker 

 

  • Mr Danczuk refused to help pay towards the cost of his son's university accommodation. George Danczuk, 18, started at Sheffield University and his mother, Mr Danczuk's first wife, Sonia Rossington, asked Mr Danczuk to contribute towards the cost of George's accommodation. George also contacted his father and asked for his help; despite his £100,000+ income Mr Danczuk refused to help citing a lack of money as his reason. 
  • Mr Danczuk was photographed kissing 31-year-old Labour councillor Claire Hamilton at the Labour conference in Brighton. He told told the Evening Standard: “Claire and I are seeing each other. We are really good friends and now we are in the early stages of dating.”


October 2015

  • Former Rochdale Borough Council leader, Councillor Colin Lambert confirmed he had instructed his lawyers to commence legal action against Mr Danczuk and his former spin doctor, Matt Baker, for what he described as a "concerted campaign to damage him".

  • Calls for disciplinary action to be taken against him being made by Labour supporters following the latest in a series of articles he authored in the Conservative supporting Mail on Sunday that are critical of the Labour Party leadership and also lampoons them. 

  • A petition asking the Rochdale Constituency Labour Party (CLP) to 'deselect' Mr Danczuk attracted over 1,200 supporters in under 24 hours.

  • Mick Coats calls for a Labour Party investigation into two of its members being suspended and five expelled in 2009, at Mr Danczuk's instigation, for them asking the Party to investigate a domestic incident in Spain between him and his then girlfriend Karen Burke. 

 

Steven Burke, Mark Hollinrake, Jack Brassington, Tom Stott, Mick Cummings, Maureen Nicholl, Mick Coates, Councillor Robin Parker and Dave Lee defiant at Rochdale Labour Club following the expulsion and suspension of the 'Rochdale Seven'
Steven Burke, Mark Hollinrake, Jack Brassington, Tom Stott, Mick Cummings, Maureen Nicholl, Mick Coates, Councillor Robin Parker and Dave Lee defiant at Rochdale Labour Club following the expulsion and suspension of the 'Rochdale Seven' 

 

  • A petition asking the Labour Party and the Rochdale Constituency Labour Party to 'offload Simon Danczuk from the Labour Party' attracted a staggering five thousand signatures.

  • Mr Danczuk's ex wife, Sonia Rossington, said he had not paid his child maintenance payment and had been avoiding the Child Support Agency (CSA) for six months.


November 2015

  • A local Labour party member accused Mr Danczuk of 'doing great harm to the Labour party'. In an interview with Rochdale Online the party member said: "Yet another column in the Conservative supporting Mail from Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk doing the Tories dirty work for them, undermining the Labour leader and the Labour party. The contents of the articles he is being paid to write for the Mail bear witness to the lengths he is prepared to go to, he is quite prepared to sabotage the party."

  • Local Lib Dems called for an investigation into the employment of Karen Danczuk (employed as Ms Burke) by Mr Danczuk.

  • Expense claims reveal that Mr Danczuk is fond of travelling first class - from April 2014 to November 2015, Mr Danczuk travelled to and from London first class on more than 100 occasions.

  • Revealed that Mr Danczuk had employed 37-year-old Nasreen Nazir as a parliamentary assistant. Miss Nazir had previously begun proceedings against him for sexual harassment whilst she was working at a social research company he founded in Manchester, called Vision 21 - the MP’s firm went bust owing £222,000 to creditors, including £113,140 to HM Revenue and Customs.

 

Nasreen Nazir with Simon Danczuk at the Rochdale Business Awards in 2014
Nasreen Nazir with Simon Danczuk at the Rochdale Business Awards in 2014 

 

  • A wag on Twitter nicknamed the Labour MP Simon 'Dan-kerching' after it was revealed he had trousered £53,000 in outside earnings, mainly payments from newspapers, publishers and broadcasters, in the past two years.

  • Voted with the Conservative government for UK airstrikes against Syria.

  • Unleashed a storm of criticism from Labour party supporters appalled at his "disloyalty" for writing in the Tory press again calling for his party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to stand down.


December 2015

  • Claimed to have received death threats over his decision to back UK airstrikes against Syria.

  • Severely criticised by local residents for having a "fun" night out with his girlfriend, rather than being back in Rochdale where his constituents, who were being devastated by floods, needed him. 

 

Simon Danczuk worse for wear in a Leyland pub with girlfriend Claire Hamlton whilst Rochdale is devastated by floods
Simon Danczuk worse for wear in a Leyland pub with girlfriend Claire Hamlton whilst Rochdale is devastated by floods 

 

  • Dumped by his latest girlfriend, Labour Councillor Claire Hamilton. Miss Hamilton claimed Mr Danczuk confessed to kissing aide Elsie Wraighte, 25, at a Christmas party and was also secretly messaging a teenager. She said Mr Danczuk had been pushing for an open relationship. She told The Sun that he is a "functioning alcoholic spiralling out of control".

  • Accused of the height of hypocrisy after he criticised the chairman of the Environment Agency, Sir Philip Dilley, for not visiting flood hit communities, despite his “fun evening” out in Leyland with his girlfriend whilst Rochdale was suffering the devastating consequences of floods.

 

Rochdale devastated by floods

 

  • Embroiled in 'sleaze' - ex girlfriend Claire Hamilton revealed that Mr Danczuk took photos whilst she kissed his estranged wife Karen "for about an hour" when the three were on a booze-fuelled night out.

  • The Sun revealed that 49-year-old Mr Danczuk sent sex messages to 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan after she asked him for a job. The Sun said many of the messages were too graphic to publish, however, messages they did publish included one in which Mr Danczuk asked Miss Houlihan if she wanted him to spank her, and another in which Mr Danczuk professes "I'm horny". 

 

The Sun headline - MP's sick sex texts to girl, 17
The Sun headline - MP's sick sex texts to girl, 17 

 

  • Suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation into sex messages the 49-year-old Labour MP sent to 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan after she asked him for a job. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said: “Simon has had his membership of the party suspended. He will now be investigated by the national executive."

  • Mick Coats, one of the seven Labour Party members found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute after calling, in 2009, for an investigation into Mr Danczuk's conduct when he was the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, called for the Rochdale Labour party to “get rid of him”.

  • Sonia Rossington, Simon Danczuk's first wife, berated him for the "embarrassment" his behaviour was causing his children following the revelations that the 49-year-old MP sent sex messages to a 17-year-old. She said: "My God what is he doing, he has a daughter not much younger than the girl he wants to 'spank', and his 18-year-old son has enough problems at university due to sharing the Danczuk name. In a text to Mr Danczuk, Mrs Rossington said: "Can you please stop embarrassing them, they are children growing up with your surname. If you resort to stripping yourself of any further dignity, I will change your daughter's surname, if only to protect her against your stupidity."


January 2016

  • Claire Hamilton said Mr Danczuk manipulated her for publicity. The 32-year-old branded him a “self-obsessed narcissist”, and accused Mr Danczuk of being more concerned with his own profile than the needs of constituents in Rochdale. In an interview with the Mirror she said: “He told me he had come up with a plan for 2016 to make more money out of the celebrity and press side of things than from being an MP.”

  • Despite having previously denied having a problem with drink, Mr Danczuk blamed his 'drink problem' for sex texts to 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan. He said: "I have a drink problem, and that is a major contributory reason why I sent the messages."

  • Protesters gathered outside of Mr Danczuk’s office. Speaking at the protest, organiser Liz Thirsk said: “This has been organised simply because of the news that Simon was sending sex messages to a 17-year-old girl. He knew she was seventeen. This is how young people get groomed online and he should have known better. He is not fit to be our MP any longer and it is about time he did the right thing and left.” 

 

Danczuk out protest outside Simon Danczuk's office
Danczuk out protest outside Simon Danczuk's office 

 

  • Confirmed that Mr Danczuk was facing an investigation into allegations made against him by his first wife. A Lancashire police spokesperson said: "We can confirm that we have today received a report of a rape against a 49-year-old man."

  • Newsnight interviewer Nick Hopkins challenged Mr Danczuk over payments he had been receiving from a photographic agency for tipping them off about his movements so they could arrange photographers to be present, then sell the photos on to tabloid newspapers and give Mr Danczuk a cut. 

 

Simon Danczuk rattled on BBC Newsnight
Simon Danczuk rattled on BBC Newsnight 

 

  • Momentum Rochdale Labour Party members said they would not attend the New Year’s Party hosted by Simon Danczuk on 8 January.

  • Interviewed in connection with a rape allegation dating from 2006. Lancashire Police said a 49-year-old old man had "voluntarily" attended a station by prior appointment and added: "A complaint was made to Lancashire Constabulary on 4 January 2016 by a woman aged 39 of a historic rape dating back to 2006.

  • Latest update to parliament’s register of interests shows new payments made to Mr Danczuk from media organisations that took his total payments from broadcasters, agencies and newspapers during 2015 to £47,306.

  • Solicitors acting for Mr Danczuk sent a legal letter to Iain McNicol, the Labour party general secretary, demanding an explanation for his suspension saying it “is detrimental to his career and reputation”. The letter was reported to have enraged senior Labour party figures.

  • The Mirror revealed that Danczuk had claimed thousands in 'dependants' expenses for children he hasn't seen in years. The money is paid if “the dependant routinely resides at the rented accommodation”. Sonia Rossington, the mother of Mr Danczuk's two eldest children, confirmed to Rochdale Online that they never stayed at Mr Danczuk's London flat in Pimlico. 

 

Mirror headline  - Sex text MP Simon Danczuk 'claimed thousands in expenses for children he rarely sees'
Sex text MP Simon Danczuk 'claimed thousands in expenses for children he rarely sees' 

 

  • Rochdale Lib Dems officially complain to Parliamentary Watchdog IPSA and Greater Manchester Police about the expenses claims of Mr Danczuk.

  • Following the revelations that Mr Danczuk had claimed thousands of pounds in 'dependants' expenses for his two eldest children, who he hasn't seen in years, his former wife and his eldest son hit out at his claims that he has been doing all he can to get his eldest children to spend time with him in London. George Danczuk, 18, the eldest son of Mr Danczuk, refuted those claims, he said: "He never contacts us or mum for us to see him." Mrs Rossington was adamant their 13-year-old daughter never stayed at Mr Danczuk's London-based accommodation. She said Mr Danczuk had never even extended an invitation for his daughter to do so.

  • Simon Danczuk's ex wife again accused him of being "economical with the truth" in seeking to defend himself against accusations of wrongly claiming dependant expenses for his two eldest children, who have never resided with him. Mr Danczuk told the Mirror: “When I initiated the claim in 2011 all four children used to stay with me in Rochdale on a regular basis, and I would have assumed quite rightly that the same would have happened in London.” Mrs Rossington said this is untrue, she said her children have not stayed overnight in Rochdale since 2009.


February 2016

  • Mr Danczuk was accused of "profiting from his own sleaze" after it was revealed he was paid £6,000 by The Sun for an article in which he explained he sent sex messages to a 17-year-old girl because he was "drunk and horny", adding "younger women" are his "Achilles heel".
  • The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, the expenses watchdog, launched an investigation into the expenses claims of Mr Danczuk. 

  • Rochdale Online revealed that Mr Danczuk claimed a whopping £672.50 in parking charges for just four months - from 7 April until 1 August 2015. This included a single bill for £178.50 on 1 August for parking in Manchester - he was on holiday in Spain for part of this period..


March 2016

  • Confirmed that Mr Danczuk's expenses claims are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service's 'Homicide and Major Crime Command' Unit.

  • Mr Danczuk is found guilty of claiming accommodation costs for two children who did not "routinely" live with him and is ordered by The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to repay £11,583.20. The IPSA compliance officer concluded that "this was done knowing that there was no reasonable prospect of the children staying at the accommodation". 

  • Mr Danczuk was also ordered to repay £96.50 he claimed in car parking charges between 26 July 2015 and 1 August 2015 while on holiday in Spain.

  • David Hennigan, who was one of those who made a complaint to IPSA about Mr Danczuk's expenses claims, writes to the Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police drawing attention to the IPSA findings.

  • Local residents and social media users demand Mr Danczuk stand down and call for him to be prosecuted for claiming over £11,500 of taxpayer's money he had no right to claim.

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