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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Simon Danczuk’s London Guest

The excellent people at Rochdale Online have put togetherSimon Danczuk: A turbulent year in the life of a disgraced MP”, which the town’s nominally Labour MP might not find easy reading, although all it does is to set out the dismal conduct of someone who might be expected to know better than to get involved in smear campaigns, get rumbled “sexting” a 17 year old girl, and be called out for having a serious drink problem.
But grim though his past year is, I have to remind Simon Danczuk that things are highly likely to get a lot worse in very short order. In addition to last weekend’s Most Unfortunate Occurrence in central Rochdale, there is the continuing saga of his Parliamentary expenses, where watchdog IPSA has decreed that he must repay around £11,500 that he had no right to claim in the first place. I will explain.

Danczuk claims for his two youngest children to “routinely” stay with him at his London flat, and that flat does indeed have a second bedroom. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, someone else appears to have been using it recently, which begs the questions as to what the MP is doing letting someone stay there who is not a relative, and whether this impacts on his claim for his two youngest kids.
But let us start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start. Suspicions were first raised last October when Danczuk posted a photo of John Blundell, still a Labour councillor in Rochdale despite his now working full time in London. Blundell, a very good friend of council leader Richard Farnell (he of parking his Jag illegally), had been taken out for a meal by Danczuk. “Took @johnblundell993 for dinner at a London club last night & they lent him a tie & jacket. Never looked so smart!” he joked on Twitter.
By this time, a photo posted by Blundell the previous month was also being examined. This showed food preparation in progress in someone’s kitchen, with the caption “Wish it luck in the oven”. I can reveal that the hob, units, and electricals match the agent’s photo of the kitchen at Simon Danczuk’s flat. And there is more.
Danczuk was left a gift of three bottles of gin (yes, I know, perhaps not best advised for someone with a weakness for the falling-over water) by Blundell in early November. His note reads “Dear Landlord [!] … You said that you was [sic] going to start drinking gin. Slimline tonic [ho ho ho] can be found in the fridge. Happy Birthday, John”. I have received confirmation that the note was indeed addressed to Danczuk.

The questions Rochdale’s MP has to answer are quite straightforward. Why has Blundell addressed him as “Dear Landlord”? If he has an arrangement with Blundell for use of the flat, what is it, and has it been declared to IPSA? How can he carry on claiming for his two children to stay if the spare room is occupied by someone else?

I’m sure Simon Danczuk has a perfectly good explanation for all of this. So he won’t mind me alerting both IPSA and the Labour Party to the contents of this post.

6 comments:

rob said...

Wonder if HMRC has been informed? There is an exemption limit for rent of "spare" room but I would imagine London rents are not cheap and it seems his "tenant" might have had the use of it for some time from your blog..

Anonymous said...

Danksuck is bound to have an "explanation."

Like all the others.

Yeah, right.

Oscar James said...

So I guess Simon won't be toppling Jeremy Corbyn any time soon?

Anonymous said...

The Rochdale Online piece mentions Danczuk refusing to contribute to the cost of his son's university accommodation. Is this the same son he wrongfully claimed expenses for accommodating in his flat?

Tim Fenton said...

@4

The answer to that would be yes.

Mark Ette said...

Nice post. Keep up the work...