Just when Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk might have thought things could not get any worse, they have got a whole lot worse, as Rochdale Online has told readers of his latest interesting expense claim - for parking charges. “It has been revealed that Mr Danczuk claimed a whopping £672.50 in parking charges for just four months - from 7 April until 1 August 2015. This includes a single bill for £178.50 on 1 August for parking in Manchester”. Just what was that for?
Moreover, what was he doing claiming that on expenses when Parliament was not sitting? The Commons is in recess throughout the month of August. Lib Dem Andy Kelly wheeled out his charge sheet: “Let's not forget that this is a man who recently spoke in support of Rochdale commuters. He could have avoided this hefty bill by getting the train to Manchester with everyone else - it's only 20 minutes for god's sake. Metrolink is longer, but would drop him off at Piccadilly for his 'first class' train to London”.
The MP was not away for anything like that length of time, so even if he had rocked up to the multi-storey in Terminal 1, he wouldn’t have paid as much. And parking charges elsewhere on the airport are lower. Costs at (for instance) Liverpool Airport, used by many EasyJet and Ryanair flights, are lower still. So how did Simon Danczuk incur a parking bill for a whopping £178.50 on the day he returned to the UK?
[UPDATE 10 February 1740 hours: Rochdale Lib Dems made a complaint about Simon Danczuk's parking expenses, and especially about that £178.50 bill.
IPSA has now confirmed "We have decided to consider this complaint as part of our existing investigation, the outcome of which will be published in a report at the conclusion of the investigation. Thank you for bringing this to our attention".
The "existing investigation" is the one considering those claims for dependent children. So that's another one for "Rochdale's MP" to sweat over in the coming weeks]