Danczuk has news organisation banned from hustings
Date published: 22 May 2017
Disgraced former MP Simon Danczuk has had Buzzfeed banned from attending and reporting on a hustings meeting taking place in Rochdale on Tuesday between a group of business people and the local candidates in the forthcoming general election.
The organiser, Damien Maddock, is reported to have withdrawn Buzzfeed's invitation to the 'Rochdale Hour' business lunch, saying "his hand had been forced" after Danczuk said he would not attend if any journalist from the organisation showed up.
Buzzfeed is a well respected global news organisation headquartered in New York with offices in cities around the world including London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Sydney, Mumbai, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Toronto.
Last week a BuzzFeed reporter called on Karen Danczuk to make enquiries about Danczuk claiming on his election nomination papers that he lived with her - something she denied before launching a tirade on Twitter against BuzzFeed.
Lib Dem candidate Andy Kelly said: "Disgusting behaviour by Danczuk and disappointing decision by the organisers. Danczuk should not be allowed to dictate who attends and reports. In the circumstances I will not be attending."
A spokesman for the Labour Party said: "It is deeply concerning for a candidate to be allowed to prevent a well respected, bonafide news organisation from attending."
Conservative candidate Jane Howard said the organisers should tell Danczuk it is not for him to dictate who can attend, she said: "It should be open for any media to go along and report on the hustings."
Rochdale Online Editor Pauline Journeaux said: "Rochdale Online was attending but has now taken the decision not to do so in light of the ban on Buzzfeed. A stand has to be taken against this sort of anti-democratic behaviour."
Mr Maddock has been contacted for comment as has Danczuk.
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Mr Maddock has now taken the decision to re-invite Buzzfeed and Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Al-Othman has accepted the re-invitation.
In light of this, Andy Kelly and Tony Lloyd, who would not have attended otherwise, have now agreed they will attend, as will Rochdale Online.
It is not known if Danczuk will now boycott the meeting, as he threatened, as he refuses to respond to Rochdale Online.
The hustings organisers have posted that Simon Danczuk has now confirmed he will be attending - so his initial threat not to do so if a Buzzfeed reporter was allowed to do so was an empty threat clearly intended to put unfair pressure on the event organisers.
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