Saturday, 10 June 2017

Danczuk: Exit stage Right

by Les May

SO the ‘Danczuk Saga’ has finally come to an end. In just two years he has managed to convert a 12,400 majority in 2015 into a total vote of just 883. Clearly people vote for the party not the man because Labour’s Tony Lloyd has a majority of more than 14,000.  What went wrong for Danczuk?

I have been chronicling Danczuk antics on the Northern Voices blog since he published his book about Cyril Smith, Smile for the Camera’, in April 2014.  But the Danczuk story goes back much further than that. In fact I could push it back to 1992 which is when I believe Danczuk found out about Cyril’s spanking of young men at Cambridge House hostel after reading the story published in a copy of the May 1979 edition of the Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) which is archived in Rochdale Reference Library.  It is a reasonable assumption that he would have come across copies of RAP whilst undertaking sociological research about the town.

In November 2006, the Labour magazine Tribune published the results of an investigation into what it called allegations of irregularities, which point to a concerted effort to oust non-Blairites from standing’ which it said raise serious questions over whether the choice of prospective MPs is being conducted in a free and fair manner.’  And who was one of those prospective MPs?  Surprise, surprise, it was none other than Simon Danczuk!

This is what Tribune went on to say about the shenanigans:  The selection for the Rochdale constituency, due end on January 22, has been described by one NEC member as "a debacle".  Before the selection began, a regional officer was accused of assisting Simon Danzcuk by allowing his company Vision 21 to conduct a survey of the attitudes of Rochdale members.  The shortlisting meeting was halted when a vote of no confidence was passed in the selection process.  Several branch nomination meetings had to be re-held after irregularities were discovered.  At the reconvened shortlisting meeting, an all-male shortlist of eight was agreed, despite this being contrary to party rules. All members were issued with a postal ballot, after it was discovered that the original postal votes had been opened prematurely.

(The www link which carried the Tribune article is now dead. If you wish to check it out for yourself I will send you a copy I downloaded earlier this year if you contact an NV editor.)

Then there was the strange storyWould-be MP victim of death threats’
which appeared in the Lancashire Telegraph in January 2007.  The would be MP was Simon Danczuk who was of course the source for the story. Caveat emptor!

Or how about the story which appeared on Rochdale Online in May 2008, ‘Danczuk linked to developer threatening legal action against Council!’  The link was via the company Vision 21 set up by Danczuk with Anna McNamara and Ruth Turner, founders of the Big Issue in the North magazine for the homeless.  It is surely just coincidence that the name Ruth Turner figures prominently in the Tribune article and she went on to work in Blair’s office.

Now at this point Simon isn’t an MP. But there’s more to come before we get to the election in May 2010.  There’s the little matter of the Spanish Holiday which went wrong.  That’s the first one in 2006 not the second one in 2016 which went even more wrong.

What all these stories amount to is that nothing to do with the public image of Simon Danczuk is straightforward.  The RAP story about Smith from 1979 was about the abuse of power and was based on affidavits by the young men concerned. (I know this is true, I have copies.)  The really interesting question is why the media ignored it back then.

The Danczuk version in the book involves Smith the repeatedly offending sexual predator, the Security Services protecting him, a false story about Northamptonshire police stopping him and finding a boot load of child porn, then letting him free after a ‘phone call to London’, tries to implicate him in the murky happenings at Knowl View special school because he was a Governor, and has a supposed ‘whistleblower’ who saw absolutely nothing and whose story when published in 1995 made no mention of Smith.

What amazes me is that so many people were taken in by this book.  All you have to do to spot the problem is to note the absence of sources in the bibliography then ask Danczuk how many men he interviewed who claim to have been assaulted by Smith.   I have tried on several occasions and he has never replied.  So as an editor of N.V. I drew my own conclusions

Once Danczuk had set his hares running, the police were duty bound to investigate.   If you add up the cost of all the police investigations which resulted from Danczuk’s claims it runs into the millions of pounds.  And when the police found insufficient evidence for the CPS to prosecute, according to Danczuk it was their fault!  But that does not excuse Leicestershire police discussing aspects of the investigation into Greville Janner with Danczuk.  Aspects which later appeared in a national newspaper. (See Appendix).

Since the last day of December 2015, Danczuk has been the political equivalent of ‘dead meat’The proximate cause of his undoing was the so called ‘sexting’ incident involving a 17 years old ‘financial dominatrix’.   From then on it was a bad year for him. But as I said earlier nothing is straightforward with Danczuk and his own antics ensured that things went from bad to worse.

We may not have heard the last of Simon.  I don’t think that a decision has yet been made on whether the overpayment of £11,000 in accommodation expenses for the two of his children constituted fraud.

Now that Rochdale is bidding adieu to Mr D. what sort of reputation will he leave behind?  With the best will in the world I find it difficult to see him as anything other than a man who milked his position as an MP for his own ends and who even in adversity never missed an opportunity to line his own pockets.  All perfectly legally of course.  But that does not take away the smell.


25 August 2015
Chief Constable
Leicestershire Police
Force Headquarters
St Johns
LE19 2BX
Dear Sir,

I refer to statements made by Simon Danczuk MP in the House of Commons on 23 June 2015 and recorded in Hansard Column 214WH.  I have extracted below the portion of his statement which I believe raises matters of concern about the actions of your force.

Quotation starts:

'I know the police are furious about this, and rightly so.  Anyone who has heard the accusations would be similarly outraged.  I have met Leicestershire police and discussed the allegations in some detail: children being violated, raped and tortured, some in the very building in which we now sit.  The official charges are: 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between ’84 and ’88; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between ’72 and ’87; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.  My office has spoken to a number of the alleged victims and heard their stories.'

Quotation ends.

Taken at its face value this suggests that Leicestershire police discussed with a third party, who though an MP, does not represent a constituency within the Leicestershire police area, matters of a confidential nature relating to a police investigation.  I draw attention to the fact that Mr Danczuk specifically used the word 'discussed' suggesting that information was passed to him by the police service rather than that he was simply questioned about information which he might hold which was relevant to the police investigation.  The detailed information regarding the nature of the charges in the remainder of the statement suggests that this interpretation is correct.

Even if it is considered appropriate to discuss these matters with Mr Danczuk the question arises as to why he was apparently not instructed that these matters were confidential.  Mr Danczuk's choice of words in the first two sentences of the above extract could leave the impression that by not instructing him that the matter was confidential the police service was attempting to use an extra-judicial method to bring pressure to bear upon the Director of Public Prosecutions. I stress that I am not making such an allegation.

The apparent failure to instruct Mr Danczuk that the discussions were confidential extends to an article in the Sun newspaper of 24 June 2015 headed 'Lord Janner "Raped kids in Parliament" claims Labour MP Simon Danczuk', and in which the matters discussed with him by Leicestershire police were repeated. As Mr Danczuk had made his claims under Parliamentary privilege he gave himself, and the Sun, protection against being sued for libel.

On 24 July 2015 Mr Danczuk received a payment of £10,000 from the owners of the Sun for an article he had contributed to.  He declined to say which article the cash related to.

If this payment does relate to the Sun article I believe it raises further questions about the wisdom of discussing material relating to the Janner case with Mr Danczuk without instructing him that the matter was confidential.

I am arranging for a copy of this letter to be sent to the Home Office because I think the concerns raised are applicable to similar discussions between other police forces and MPs who may use parliamentary privilege to make the discussions public.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Les May

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