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Sunday 24 January 2016

Danczuk Ultimate Expenses Hypocrisy

Last May, as the Labour leadership campaign got under way, Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who had declared his support for Liz Kendall, decided to casually smear then-front runner Andy Burnham over his expenses. To this end, he approvingly quoted an attack in the Sun. But there was a problem: despite being a mere back-bencher, Danczuk’s expenses were way more than Burnham was claiming.
As I noted at the time, his “claims came in at over £1,000 more than Burnham’s. The Manchester Evening News also noted that “Mr Danczuk's wife Karen is a case worker for him on a wage of between £25,000 and £29,999”. One wonders how she managed to fit it all in, what with being a councillor and businesswoman as well. And Danczuk’s accommodation claims were almost £9,000 greater than Burnham’s”.

That was despite Danczuk making an election issue out of defending Lib Dem Paul Rowen’s expenses during the 2010 campaign. It gets worse: eyebrows were raised when it was revealed his now ex-wife Karen had been paid for 621 hours of overtime - paid out of the public purse - despite allegedly also being a Councillor and running a business at the same time. Parliamentary watchdog IPSA is considering a further investigation.

All that was bad enough for the now-embattled MP, on top of his being caught “Sexting” a 17 year old girl, and having an historic allegation of rape made against him. But now the Sunday Mirror has, it seems, caught Danczuk bang to rights fiddling his expenses big time,  telling “Sex text MP Simon Danczuk 'claimed thousands in expenses for children he rarely sees’”. And how much would that be, then?

IPSA’s records show that in 2014-15 he claimed £28,466.58 and declared four dependants including two children he had with his first wife … He last night admitted he ‘never read the rules’ relating to a parliamentary allowance and said he would return the money if the mistake is his”. That might be a big repayment.

Here’s why: “Parliamentary rules allow MPs a basic annual allowance of £20,600 for accommodation in London … They can get an extra £2,425 per year for each dependant that stays with them. IPSA’s records show that in 2014-15 he claimed £28,466.58 and declared four dependants. In 2013-14 it was £27,587.46, and in 2012-13 it was £29,261.62”. The qualification for “dependant” isn’t looking good for him.

IPSA states dependants are people for whom MPs have caring responsibilities. The cash is paid if ‘the dependant routinely resides at the rented accommodation’ … An IPSA source said that typically covered children who stay during school holidays, or in term time if they are being educated in London”. But Danczuk rarely sees his two eldest children, and recently refused to help with his 18 year old son’s University accommodation costs.

But he’s claiming expenses for that eldest son! Worse, he might not be within the rules for his youngest two sons. MPs have in the past been jailed for expense fraud. So how’s that challenge to the Labour Party suspension coming along, then, Simon? No pressure.


Arnold said...

“Mr Danczuk's wife Karen is a case worker for him on a wage of between £25,000 and £29,999”.
You can't earn that sort of money without leaving paper and computer records. Someone official should ask to see them.

Anonymous said...

What did you expect?

He's a neocon New Labour "risk taking entrepreneur" who should team up with the tories.

The risk being the danger of getting found out.

Mark Hollinrake said...

Hope there is a police investigation and he is charged with fraud. While they are at it they should investigate what happened to Vision 21 funds, cash, equipment and workers' time going into his election campaign while it was going bust, owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to HMRC and other public bodies.

Anonymous said...

Theft and fraud! It's as simple as that.
I walked into a shop, selected items off the shelf and walked out without giving them any money... Because I didn't know how to shop!
Pathetic. Both you and your wife Karen. You should be ashamed.

Techowiz said...

Straight fraud, should be charged. So should KD for taking wages when she clearly could not put in the hours.
See he is playing the standard MP defence, I'm caught so I'll pay it back and that'll be the end of it.
IPSA not fit for purpose.