As the new session of Parliament is almost upon us, so MPs are rushing to appoint staff so they are ready for the demands of the new term. Spinners and SpAds for ministers, researchers and caseworkers for the Other Ranks, and a host of hangers-on, all are being recruited across the political spectrum. Those recruiting, for the time being at least, include Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk.
Spanker Si has advertised - under the banner of the Labour Party, so a real Ron Hopeful episode there - for a Parliamentary Assistant, someone to work for him in London. This is the kind of role that would appeal to young people both male and female, but the impression is given from his past form that Danczuk will be looking for a young woman to fill the post. And here we may sound a note of caution.
The claims of Danczuk’s involvement, or attempted involvement, with an increasing number of those young women have only grown over time. This is quite apart from his closeness to Tory Councillor Louise Dickens, the recent brief affair with a 22-year-old woman which was duly consummated over the desk in his taxpayer-funded constituency office, and stories of leering and unwanted attention in central Rochdale pubs.
Thus the potential risk of working for Spanker Si. Take for instance the claims surrounding Elsie Wraighte, such as that in the Sun: “THIS is the aide Simon Danczuk claims to have kissed at a Christmas party, leading to him being dumped by his girlfriend … But Elsie, of Ulverston, Cumbria, insisted she did not kiss Danczuk. She said: ‘It never happened. I have a perfectly clear memory of the night and I promise you it’s not true’”.
Then there was Nasreen Nazir, who has worked for Danczuk in both Manchester and London. The Mail was not backwards in coming forwards to tell “Labour rebel Danczuk gives £30,000 job to stunning aide who claimed he was a sex pest … Nasreen Nazir, 37, worked for Mr Danczuk's company a decade ago … She had begun proceedings against him for sexual harassment … The Rochdale MP denies he had affair with Ms Nazir”.
Ms Nazir was also spending time keeping the MP fit: “Jogging your memory, Mr Danczuk? MP's intimate workout with glamorous aide who once called him a sex pest” was the Mail’s take on this one. And the nudge-nudgery is not confined to those who work for Danczuk: last December, 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan, who had merely enquired about work opportunities, was the subject of a “sexting” advance.
All of which might leave all those ambitious young women eager to make their mark in the Westminster village more than a little apprehensive. Only this morning, Spanker Si has been caught following another on Twitter, someone who soon afterwards took her feed private. He does like them young. Meanwhile, the Labour Party continues to deliberate over whether he should be expelled from its ranks.
This may be one of those roles that takes a little longer to fill. As it were.