|Member of Parliament
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Paul Rowen|
|Born||Simon Christopher Danczuk
24 October 1966
Rochdale, Lancashire, England
|Political party||Labour Party – until December 2015 (suspended)|
|Spouse(s)||Sonia Milewski (m. 1996; div. 2010)
Karen Burke (m. 2012; separated 2015)
|Alma mater||Lancaster University|
Simon Christopher Danczuk (//; born 24 October 1966) is a British politician who has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Rochdale since 2010. He has been a critic of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party. Danczuk co-wrote a book about former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith's abuse of children, and has campaigned about historical allegations of child sex abuse. In December 2015 he was suspended from the Labour Party following allegations of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 17-year-old girl.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Early political career
- 3 Member of Parliament
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life and career
Danczuk grew up in Hapton, Lancashire. He started working life at the age of sixteen in a factory making gas fires, before moving to the chemical company ICI. Whilst working, he studied at night school and gained qualifications he had missed out at secondary school. He then gained a place as a mature student at Lancaster University. He studied economics, sociology and politics, and was a member of Cartmel College.
Danczuk was co-founder with Ruth Turner of Urban Visions Limited, which traded as Vision Twentyone, a research, public affairs and communications consultancy. He has also held research positions at The Big Issue in the North, Opinion Research Corporation, Bolton Bury TEC and worked for academics at Lancaster University. He has written widely on topics such as democracy, homelessness, regeneration, drugs, housing and employment.
Danczuk founded the Necessary Group, a campaign group of businessmen and politicians, which campaigned prior to the expected referenda for an elected Regional Assembly for the North West of England.
Early political career
Danczuk has been involved in the Labour movement since joining the Labour Party through the GMB trade union in the late 1980s. At the age of 27, he was elected as a councillor to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, serving for eight years with portfolios including economic development and then education.
Prior to his selection for Labour in Rochdale he was campaign manager for Janet Anderson, who was defending her seat in the Rossendale and Darwen constituency, at the 2005 General Election – helping retain the seat for Labour with a reduced majority of 3,500. The next year, Danczuk was a campaign strategist for Labour Party during the 2006 Local Elections and sat on North West Labour's Regional Board (the Party's governing body for the region) for 13 years. He was Constituency Secretary for Rossendale and Darwen Labour Party from 1991 to 1994, when Anderson took the seat for Labour for the first time in 1992, from David Trippier.
In August 2006, Tribune magazine said that Danczuk's company Vision 21 had sent questionnaires to Labour members in Rochdale on behalf of the regional party. Danczuk reported that he received death threats during the selection process. The postal ballot got a 78% turnout and Danczuk received almost twice as many votes as the second-placed candidate.
Seven members of Rochdale Labour Party who were accused of bringing the Labour party into disrepute by criticising his behaviour were expelled, or resigned, after a disciplinary hearing in September 2009.
Member of Parliament
In the 2010 election, Danczuk won 16,699 votes, unseating incumbent Liberal Democrat Paul Rowen, who received 15,810 as Conservative Mudasir Dean polled 8,305, despite the incident leading to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's "bigoted woman" remark having occurred in Rochdale.
In May 2011, Danczuk made a criminal complaint to Essex Police about Liberal Democrat MP and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne after it was alleged that Huhne had asked someone to take his penalty points for a speeding offence in 2003. On 3 February 2012, Huhne became the first Cabinet Minister in British political history to be forced from office as a result of criminal proceedings.
In the wake of the 2013 Labour Party Falkirk candidate selection controversy, Danczuk compared some elements of the Labour hard left to the British National Party (BNP) in an opinion piece in The Daily Telegraph.
Westminster paedophilia investigation
In 2014, Danczuk, with researcher and campaigner Matthew Baker, published Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith, an expose of child abuse committed by his parliamentary predecessor in Rochdale. Danczuk said that the abuse included spankings and forcing boys to perform sex acts.
In July 2014, Danczuk called for former home secretary Leon Brittan to make public what he knew about a dossier of allegations about paedophiles presented to him by Geoffrey Dickens (1931 – 1995, MP until 1995), which could identify several historic child sex abusers. The Home Office stated the dossier had not been retained in their files. Former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald said the circumstances in which the dossier had gone missing were alarming, and recommended an inquiry into its fate. Prime Minister David Cameron subsequently asked the Home Office Permanent Secretary to investigate what happened to the missing dossier. Danczuk responded that another internal inquiry was merely trying to limit damage, and that a public inquiry was necessary to retain public confidence.
Also in July 2014 Danczuk wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions asking for a review of the decision not to investigate certain historical allegations of sexual abuse made against senior Westminster politicians.
Danczuk's investigation significantly contributed to the decision of the government to set up the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, which opened on 9 July 2015.
In July 2015, Whitehall files were discovered which were previously thought to have been destroyed. In one of them, dated November 1986, the then head of MI5, Sir Antony Duff, accepted a denial by an MP that he was a child-abuser, but noted that "the risk of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger". Danczuk told The Times that the MI5 papers were "explosive", and helped prove that there had been an Establishment cover-up of paedophile activity.
In January 2016, following allegations into sexually explicit texting, Danczuk wrote to the General Secretary of the Labour Party, saying that Ken Livingstone should be expelled from the National Executive Committee of the party due to "voicing such trenchant criticism" of Danczuk's actions, and Livingstone allegedly suggesting Danczuk is a paedophile due to linking Danczuk's actions to his anti-sex abuse campaigns.
Media profile and income
Following the serialisation of his book in the Daily Mail during 2014 and 2015, Danczuk developed a large media profile with a significant income from writing newspaper columns, initially in The Sun, and latterly weekly in the Mail on Sunday. In August 2014 Danczuk and his wife created Danczuk Media Ltd for their media work. He declared earnings of £42,306 from various broadcasters, agencies and newspapers during 2015. Between July 2014 and December 2015, it is alleged that Danczuk received £32,491 from the Daily Mail and General Trust; £12,800 from News Corporation (it is also alleged that he was paid a further £5,000 to speak to The Sun specifically about his split from Cllr Claire Hamilton in December 2015); £1,115 from FameFlyNet – which is described as "one of the most powerful photo news agencies in America and around the world" and has also received payments "for articles [Danczuk] assisted with" from Borne Media Ltd.
Between October 2014 and March 2015 Danczuk was investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and then censured by the Standards and Privileges Committee for serious breaches of Commons procedures by repeatedly failing to register income of £19,894, primarily from media activities, within the required time in the The Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Danczuk accepted the verdict, and stated "It was down to poor administration in my office and a change of personnel ... This meant I did not make timely registration. I have learnt a lesson in this and I will be more rigorous in the future."
Criticism of Jeremy Corbyn
Prior to the 2015 Labour leadership election, Danczuk indicated that "as soon as the results come out" a coup would take place against Jeremy Corbyn if he was elected. Danczuk also called for the election to be "halted" and described Corbyn's platform as "crazy leftwing policies" which he would not "put up with".
His comments were criticised in Rochdale. In October, he said that he could challenge Corbyn for the leadership as a 'stalking horse' if it led to the party electing an MP such as Emma Reynolds, Dan Jarvis or Chuka Umunna. Several thousand Internet users signed an online petition calling for Danczuk to have the whip withdrawn as a result. The Manchester Evening News said the BBC quoted Ken Livingstone as saying: "If your local MP is undermining Jeremy Corbyn, opposing the anti-austerity measures we want, people should have a right to say 'I'd like to have an MP who reflects my view'."
Later in October 2015 Danczuk said that if the May 2016 local election results were to be "as dire as we all fear, then yes I would be prepared to stand as a stalking horse against Jeremy Corbyn". Danczuk would prefer an alternative leader from the right of the party, such as Chuka Umunna, Dan Jarvis or Emma Reynolds, to win following his damaging first challenge "to give us some chance of winning the next election".
2015 Great Britain floods
During the 2015 floods, Danczuk's Rochdale constituency was one of the worst-affected areas. Danczuk criticised cutbacks at the Environment Agency and argued that existing flood preparation plans had been insufficient, and called for a compensation scheme to be established to help Rochdale's recovery. He sparked controversy when he argued that foreign aid money should be spent in Britain, arguing that "what we need to do is to sort out the problems which are occurring here and not focus so much on developing countries. That has to be our priority." This prompted accusations by critics in the Labour Party that he was "peddling" the UK Independence Party line.
On 28 December 2015, the Manchester Evening News reported that Danczuk's new girlfriend, councillor Claire Hamilton, had ended their relationship twenty-four hours after she had tweeted pictures of the couple enjoying themselves in a Rochdale pub during the devastating floods, which was viewed as being insensitive to the disaster's victims.
Labour Party suspension over sexually explicit text messages
In December 2015, it was reported that Danczuk had split from his girlfriend Claire Hamilton, a Labour councillor in Leyland. Soon after, The Sun published sexually graphic text messages that Danczuk had exchanged with a 17-year-old female job applicant, which the newspaper reported were the cause of the split. Police investigated the matter (under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the age of consent is 18 in circumstances where the accused is in a position of trust) and concluded no offence had been committed, though there was strong local criticism of Danczuk.
He was subsequently suspended from Labour Party by the General Secretary pending a full investigation by the National Executive Committee. Danczuk immediately apologised unreservedly, stating "I was stupid [and] there's no fool like an old fool", though he also stated the story was "not entirely accurate". Danczuk later said he had an alcohol problem which led to his behaviour of sending sexually explicit text messages, and that younger women were his "achilles heel".
Danczuk later asked the former job applicant, now 18-year-old, for a meeting to apologise, suggesting she could receive a fee if she allowed a media agency to take photographs of them together; this request was rejected. Danczuk had earlier received a fee of £5,000 from the Sun on Sunday for an interview to discuss the explicit text messages he had sent, and a £1,100 fee from a photo agency.
In January 2016, Lancashire Constabulary confirmed that it was investigating an allegation of rape, dated back to 2006, made against a 49-year-old male. Danczuk confirmed that he was the subject of the allegation, which he denied and described as "malicious".
On 1 February 2016 the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (ISPA) announced it had started an investigation into Danczuk's parliamentary expenses over child accommodation claims. This followed a complaint alleging that his two eldest children for whom Danczuk was claiming an accommodation allowance of £2,425 per child did not stay with him in London "routinely", but only occasionally. His response was “I maintain that the existing rules (about 'routinely') are poorly worded and not fit for purpose when it comes to modern families like mine”.
Danczuk married Sonia Milewski in 1996. They had two children, a son born in 1997 and a daughter in 2002. They divorced in 2010, and subsequently she accused him of emotional and sexual abuse fuelled by alcohol and cannabis.
He married Karen Burke, who was elected to be a councillor for Kingsway, Rochdale metro, in 2012. They have two children. The couple separated in June 2015. In July 2015, he said that he had been suffering from depression caused by his campaigning work on child sexual abuse and that this had affected his second marriage.
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- The London Gazette: . 13 May 2010.
- Stone, Jon (31 December 2015). "Simon Danczuk suspended from Labour party after 'sending sexually explicit texts to teenager'". The Independent. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- "www.ukpollingreport.co.uk". UK Polling Report Website.
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- Deborah Linton (12 July 2011). "Rochdale MP's firm owes taxman 110k after going bust". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- "The Vision 21 team". Vision 21. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
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- "The Register of Members' Interests, 20 June 2011 - Simon Danczuk". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
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- Verrinder, James. "Former researchers Zahawi and Danczuk win seats in UK parliament" Research-Online.com 7 May 2010
- BBC News, "Police to decide whether to probe Huhne speeding claim", BBC News Online, (15 May 2011)
- J. Chapman, "Huhne pays for his infidelity: Minister's career in ruins as feud with ex-wife lands them both in court over speeding points", Daily Mail (London), 4 February 2012
- "Simon Danczuk MP: 'Labour's militant left no better than BNP'". Telegraph.co.uk. 9 July 2013.
- "Smile for the Camera". Biteback publishing. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- Jones, Chris (15 April 2014). "MP defends book on Cyril Smith". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Leon Brittan urged to comment on 1980s 'paedophile dossier'". BBC. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Home Office under fire over 'lost' paedophile dossier". BBC. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Georgia Graham and James Kirkup (2 July 2014). "Launch formal investigation into the lost paedophile dossier, says former DPP". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Rajeev Syal (4 July 2014). "David Cameron asks top civil servant to look into Westminster child abuse claims". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Mark Conrad and David Hencke (1 July 2014). "Simon Danczuk ask DPP to review claim over Elm Guest House". Exaro News. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Miller, Nick (26 July 2015). "Westminster paedophile scandal casts shadows over British establishment". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Hope, Christopher. "Simon Danczuk tells Labour to remove Ken Livingstone from official spanking texts probe" The Daily Telegraph 3 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "Simon Danczuk earns thousands from media work". Rochdale Online. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Kevin Maguire (5 November 2015). "Commons confidential: Danczuk's poison pen". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Ian Silvera (31 December 2015). "Rise and fall of Simon Danczuk: From top Jeremy Corbyn critic to Labour disgrace over teen girl sexting". International Business Times. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- "Companies House - DANCZUK MEDIA LTD". Companies House. Company No. 09164194. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- "Simon Danczuk earned nearly £50,000 from the media in 2015, register of interests reveals". Manchester Evening News. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "HP sauce". Private Eye (1409). 8 January 2015. p. 7.
... between July 2014 and December 2015 he pocketed £32,491 from the Mail group alone, and £12,800 from Rupert Murdoch's News Group ...
Danczuk also registered a payment of £1,115 "for media advice" from FameFlyNet, which describes itself as "one of the largest, most powerful photo news agencies in America and around the world" ...
Equally intriguing is another payment Danczuk registered from Borne Media "for articles I assisted with". The PR agency set up by staff from Max Clifford Associated after the joining of their boss in 2014 ...
- Randeep Ramesh (19 March 2015). "Simon Danczuk censured for late registration of Daily Mail cash". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
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- Damon Wilkinson (30 December 2015). "Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk apologises after he was pictured in tweets at pub during Boxing Day floods". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
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- Nicola Harley (31 December 2015). "MP Simon Danczuk probed by police after sending 'spanking' texts to teenager". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- Dean Wilkins, Lauren Veevers, Sarah Ridley (31 December 2015). "Want me to spank you? MP Simon Danczuk, 49, sleazy texts to girl, 17". The Sun. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
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- Frances Perraudin (3 January 2016). "Simon Danczuk says drink problem led to explicit text messages". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- Matt Dathan (8 January 2016). "Simon Danczuk offers to meet up with teenager Sophena Houlihan to apologise over 'explicit text messages'". The Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
- Kate McCann (8 January 2016). "Simon Danczuk invited sex-text teenager for a coffee despite calls for him to step down over messages". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
- Jamie Doward and Tom Dare (9 January 2016). "Simon Danczuk received £5,000 for newspaper interview". The Observer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
- "MP Simon Danczuk denies rape allegation made against him". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Rowena Mason (1 February 2016). "Simon Danczuk faces investigation by MPs' expenses watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- Kate McCann (1 February 2016). "Investigation opens into suspended Labour MP Simon Danczuk's expense claims". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Simon Danczuk's first wife 'appalled' at the 'embarrassment' his behaviour is causing his children". Rochdale Online. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Danczuk divorced for adultery". Rochdale Online. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Tom Mctague (16 June 2014). "'I took ecstasy and cannabis': Labour MP Simon Danczuk admits drug fuelled nights out, as wife defends 'cleavage selfies'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Siobhan Fenton (4 January 2016). "Simon Danczuk threatens legal action against 'malicious' allegations by ex-wife". The Independent.
- Rajeev Syal (31 December 2015). "Simon Danczuk: a campaigning MP with a complex personal life". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- Natalie Clarke, Nazia Parveen (30 June 2015). "As the Queen of Selfies ditches her MP hubby, has Karen Danczuk set her sights on her personal trainer?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- "Labour MP Simon Danczuk splits from wife Karen". Daily Telegraph (London). 29 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- "MP Simon Danczuk to step back from child abuse campaign". BBC News. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Perraudin, Frances (6 July 2015). "Simon Danczuk steps back from campaigning against child abuse". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament