Today’s Mail On Sunday carries the story of what it termed a “bust-up” between Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk and Liz McInnes, who represents the neighbouring constituency of Heywood and Middleton, in a bar at the House of Commons. The story is notable more for what the MoS has not told its readers, rather than the detail on offer. So what provoked this latest Danczuk disintegration?
But what the MoS missed out is that this is not the first confrontation between Danczuk and Ms McInnes. My information is that Kazza’s late night Twitter provocation of the neighbouring MP was, also, not an opening shot. Moreover, just having a difference of opinion in a Commons bar does not explain the opening line of the article: “Simon Danczuk has been reported to Labour's high command”.
Why would Ms McInnes report Danczuk for a disagreement? My information is that, at the time the “bust-up” occurred, Danczuk had already spent sufficient time in the Rub-A-Dub for him to have become Elephant’s Trunk And Mozart. The quantities of Dutch Courage he had taken on board did most of the talking. It is highly unlikely that he, or Kazza, will be digging any dirt on Ms McInnes any time soon.
And what looked like the exercise in late night self-promotion by Kazza also had its roots in earlier events: The Heywood and Middleton Constituency Labour Party (CLP) has recently made a complaint about Danczuk to Labour’s NEC. Danczuk, it seems, blames Liz McInnes for this, assuming that she manipulates her local party in a similar manner to that he employs in Rochdale, but she does not.
There has also been disquiet voiced over the amount of negative feedback faced by canvassers in this month’s local elections: all over the Rochdale area, and beyond, the question of the Danczuks, the misbehaviour, the cronyism - Kazza is back on the payroll after being sacked last year - and the freeloading has come up time and again, to the extent that some in the party are worried about the Lib Dems regaining seats.
When the MoS quotes a source claiming “Simon was pretty menacing towards her, and could be heard saying words to the effect that he had people who could dig up stuff on her and her team” and Danczuk tries to shrug it off with “This story is preposterous. I'm not in the slightest bit interested in what Karen tweets or what Liz tweets for that matter, so why would I pick an argument over it”, few will believe him.
As Zelo Street regulars will know, Danczuk has form for dirty tricks. But this time he is already suspended from the party. And the idea of installing Kazza as an MP is total fantasy. What is becoming clear, though, is that patience is beginning to wear very thin with the antics of the Danczuks - at all levels of the Labour Party.