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Sunday 13 September 2015

Simon Danczuk And Rochdale Dirty Tricks

While Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk once again tests the elasticity of party loyalty by selling his services to the Mail On Sunday and using the platform given him to blatantly slag off his new party leader, an interesting email has arrived on Zelo Street, suggesting that at least one particularly nasty smear exercise undertaken not long ago in Rochdale can be traced back to his good self.
The email, which appears genuine, was sent to Rochdale Online in late November 2012. As can be seen from the redacted version (below) it tells “You will have noted that Rochdale is currently in the eye of a media storm regarding child abuse and cover ups”.

It then goes on to allege “The story that has yet to break is the role of the council leader [redacted], in all of this. He was given files on the abuse at Knowl View school and Cyril Smith over 10 years ago but he did nothing because the Labour party had done a deal with the Liberals to keep quiet on Cyril. This was in exchange for the Liberals keeping quiet on allegations that [redacted] had sex with two girls with special needs that were in his care”. The email then goes on to commend the services of one Martin Digan.
So far, so anonymous, but an unredacted version of that email has also arrived on Zelo Street, and this makes most revealing reading.

Firstly, the council leader named in the email is revealed to be Colin Lambert, who was ousted from that post last year. One of his sternest critics was Simon Danczuk.

Secondly, and most interestingly, the sender’s name is revealed to be none other than Matt Baker. That’s the same name as the man who was Simon Danczuk’s sidekick for eight years, before he decided to move on earlier this year.
Rochdale Online observed that “Mr Baker’s methods have at times been controversial, during the 2010 election campaign he was exposed as having a number of accounts on internet forums and using those accounts to support Mr Danczuk and attack his opponents and critics”, which is another most interesting contribution.

On top of all that, the clear inference in the email is that the Labour group, at the time it was sent, were somehow complicit in the allegation of cover-up levelled at Colin Lambert. Here are some of those smeared by implication:

Dalaat Ali; Surinder Biant; Sultan Ali; Alan McArthy; Carol Wardle; June West; Neil Emmott; Mohammed Zaman; Jean Hornby; Cecile Biant; Aftab Hussain; Jacqueline Beswick; Susan Emmot; Ray Dutton; Martin Rodgers; Peter Williams; Donna Martin; Philip Burke; Richard Farnell; Billy Sheerin; Iftikah Ahmed; Malcolm Borris; Shaun O’Neil; Linda Robinson; Shakil Ahmed; John Hartley; Terrence Linden; Alan Brett; Liam O’Rourke; Pat Greenall; Amna Mir; Peter Joinson; Colin Lambert; Lil Murphy.

Perhaps Matt Baker would like to enlighten us further. At least he need not worry about due process being followed: I understand the email has already been made available to Greater Manchester Police, and at a senior level.

Meanwhile, I’m sure Simon Danczuk has a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this.

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