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Friday 5 February 2016

Simon Danczuk Parking Claim Rumbled

[Update at end of post]

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”.

We can get some idea of where Danczuk may have incurred such a hefty charge by a quick scan of his Twitter feed: on the day of that last claim, he posted a photo with the caption “View from my Spanish gaff this morning. Lovely, but can't wait to be back in Rochdale this afternoon”. That’s most interesting.

But only a few days previously, he had been in his constituency, or in London. And even if you wanted to book 12 days’ parking in the Manchester Airport multi-storey (which gets you within walking distance of checking in), it only costs £73 for dates in February, or £83 for late July, coming back on August 1 - the date Danczuk returned.
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?

And while he’s mulling over his excuses on that front, if that £178.50 contains one penny of his airport parking bill, what the hell is it doing being charged to We The People? Is the charge just for one car? It sure as heck shouldn’t be for anyone else, unless the excuse note is going to pretend that it was necessary to take one or more assistants to the Danczuk “gaff” somewhere near Alicante. Which it wasn’t.

An able-bodied forty-something should have been able and willing to take the train into Victoria, cross Manchester city centre on the Metrolink, and get the train to the airport from Piccadilly. And no way should taxpayers be paying either the train fares, or the car parking if he chose to drive. Parliamentary watchdog IPSA should demand receipts for all of those claims and throw out anything not directly attributable to Commons business.

These expenses revelations give every appearance of not being a mere coincidence.

[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]


Anonymous said...

Looks more and more as though dear Simon's about to get his collar felt.

The hoosegow beckons.

I hope.

Anonymous said...

In some airport car parks there are Short Stay and Long Stay sections.

The Short Stay sections are always closer to the Terminals for drop off / pick up passengers. The charges for these areas are very high to prevent any dickhead from using them for longer than 1 or 2 hours. I would guess that poor Simon was said dickhead and got a shock when he went to drive out of the short stay car park.

Most people would put that down to experience and take the hit. But not dickheads like Simon who are too clever for their own good.

With a bit of luck he will soon be residing at Her Maj's pleasure in one of her guest houses.

Anonymous said...

Oh, he's a dickhead alright, and it's dickheads like him in the Labour Party that make it difficult for Corbyn to go after tories guilty of similar 'transgressions'.

Just f*** off, danszuk. Do it now. Take your freeloading mates with you. You're a massive embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Agree with above. As we know Dansuck is a very busy man, he said so, thats why he claimed for all his kids living with him when they weren't. He will have rocked up at Manchester, driven into the car park, took his yellow token and parked up.

On return he will have entered the token into the machine and not batted an eyelid at the excessive charge as a few million mugs were paying for it.

He must be close to having to attend a station for questioning by now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Simon will claim that the Parking Sign was "vague" and "not very clearly written" for a modern man leading a complicated life.