The expense claims of MPs continue to provide a steady source of low-level copy for those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, and to no surprise at all, it tends to be the same subset of Parliamentarians who feature in the press, especially Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk , still suspended from the party whip for his “sexting” of a 17 year old girl. Sometimes the path to the tabloids is, however, more complex.
An unsavoury sleazebag and his non-exclusive
His latest piss-taking antics at the taxpayers’ expense have been a demonstration of just how much he is prepared to put on expenses: as the excellent Rochdale Online has told, “The latest publication of the MP's expense claims - processed in February and March 2016 by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) - reveals that Mr Danczuk claimed £2 for a box of tissues for ‘upset constituents’ on 26 February. He claimed £4.05 for a further box on 7 March”.
There was more: “The MP also claimed back £5 for flowers ‘purchased for remembrance ceremony’ … The expenses claimed by Mr Danczuk in the two month period totalled £10,488.80 - almost double that of MP for Heywood and Middleton, Liz McInnes, who claimed just £5,626.34”. Could it get worse? It certainly could.
“In stark contrast to Mr Danczuk's penchant for luxury travel at taxpayers' expense, Ms McInnes travels standard class. She hasn't claimed for tissues, flowers nor parking tickets”. And that, you might think, was that, except that at the Baby Shard bunker, the Sun’s alleged “Westminster Correspondent”, Master Harry Cole, was so desperate for brownie points that he appears to have lifted the Rochdale Online story.
Not only that, Master Cole then passed it off as a Sun “exclusive” titled “LEST WE FORGET Labour’s Simon Danczuk slammed for claiming £5 expenses for memorial flowers”. This was accompanied by the equally fraudulent “Suspended Labour MP Simon Danczuk was under fire last night after claiming for memorial flowers on expenses, The Sun can reveal”. He had already been “under fire”, as the Rochdale Online article had already been published the previous day. Oh dear, Master Cole!
And just for good measure, the shameless Cole added “Also buried in Mr Danczuk’s latest expenses data was a £2 claim for ‘tissues’ for ‘upset constituents’”. It was so deeply “buried” that it had already been dug up and published by Rochdale Online. And they didn’t have the bare-faced cheek to claim an “exclusive” for it.
Would Sir like to contribute something original to one’s “exclusive” copy? “The controversial MP remains suspended from the Labour Party after he was caught up in a sexting scandal involving a teenage girl”. WE KNOW ALREADY. Try again. “Mr Danczuk was also forced to pay back £96.50 he claimed in car parking costs while on holiday in Spain”. THAT’S OLD NEWS AS WELL.
Hell’s teeth, is that the best the Sun can do? Pass off someone else’s copy as “exclusive” and bung in a few scraps of even older material? That’s crap. So no change there, then.