After he had decided to go against the wishes of his party leadership - and, it has been reported, his local party - and vote for air strikes against targets in Syria, Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk told anyone who would listen that he had received death threats. Strangely, though, Greater Manchester Police have not thus far felt anyone’s collar over the incident, which has raised some eyebrows.
As the Spectator claimed at the time, “when he put himself forward [for selection] he received a funeral wreath with his name picked out in white carnations as well as threats from an anonymous caller who explained that ‘his body-parts will be found across the motorway’ if he did not withdraw”. That wreath has varied in size with the retelling: Lib Dem Voice noted “he stepped out of his front door recently to find a six-foot cross, and a wreath spelling out his name ‘gangland funeral style’, as Private Eye puts it”.
The wreath, though, later diminished in size by the time Danczuk was writing for the Huffington Post: “I had a three-foot funeral wreath sent to my office and was told if I didn't withdraw from the parliamentary selection process my body parts would be found spread across the M62 motorway”. But something else the Eye had said was more relevant.
Lib Dem Voice again: “Going on to say that whoever is intimidating the candidate is ‘thick as well as sick’, Private Eye suggests that the wreaths were ordered with a credit card – so someone may be having their collar felt soon enough”. Rochdale Lib Dems could view this business as an outside party, knowing none of their members was involved. And they were quite sure that the credit card holder was in Danczuk’s local Labour party.
So what happened? Ah well. The credit card payment was indeed traced back to a named, personal credit card. And then everything went very quiet. Why should that be? Local Lib Dem Dave Hennigan, who made the complaint to IPSA about Danczuk’s claim for two of his children whom he has not seen regularly for several years (the MP has now been ordered to pay back over £11,000 as a result) reckons he has the answer.
Whose name is in the frame? Put it this way: nobody has been detained, arrested, warned, cautioned and certainly not named by the Police. That is because, I am told, the credit card payment was traced back to someone very close to Simon Danczuk himself. Someone very close indeed, in fact. Someone close enough to have the Police complaint pulled. “Thick as well as sick”, indeed.
Dirty tricks by the Danczuk camp are nothing new. Nor is elementary stupidity. The end.