And so it came to pass that the Labour Party made its decision: what would they do with Rochdale’s increasingly semi-detached MP Simon Danczuk? Ever since his suspension over the 2015/16 New Year, following the revelation that he had been “sexting” a 17-year-old girl who had been enquiring about work experience, the party’s NEC had deliberated, wanting to be sure they gave him the benefit of due process.
Some already believed they knew the outcome of that process: the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog thought last week that Spanker would be allowed to stand for Labour in Rochdale, telling readers “Simon Danczuk’s Seat Not Open For Selection” and going on to tell “Labour’s list of vacant seats - inviting applications from potential candidates - has just been published. Rochdale is not on the list”.
Do go on. “Incumbent Simon Danczuk - suspended from the Labour party for sexting - yesterday signed a form to put himself forward to stand again for Labour. Simon Danczuk rides again, so to speak”. But there was a problem with the Fawkes information: it had come, like most of their Danczuk and indeed Labour in the North West related material, from a source very close to Simon Danczuk - like Simon Danczuk himself.
The reason that no selection process had been instigated for Rochdale was because the question of Danczuk’s continued party membership had not been resolved. There were moves behind the scenes to try and leave it until after the General Election, but that would have meant allowing him to stand as the Labour candidate, with all the collateral damage that would have been inflicted on other Labour candidates.
Those candidates included many fighting for council seats - elections are on Thursday next - along with Parliamentary hopefuls and Greater Manchester Mayoral nominee Andy Burnham. It was made clear to Labour’s leadership, NEC and NCC that having Danczuk as candidate for Rochdale, in view of his recent waywardness, could be A Very Bad Thing for the party. The bullet had to be bitten. And now it has been.
Normally, a Bank Holiday weekend would mean no decision before Tuesday at the earliest. Making that decision, and announcing it on the Bank Holiday Monday, gives another day for campaigners across the North West to impress on their potential electorates that Labour has not been afraid to shirk the issue. And not shirking the issue means that Simon Danczuk has been banned from standing for the Labour Party. The NEC decision was unanimous.
The Fawkes blog will try to push the line that Spanker has been ambushed by the “Corbynistas”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Danczuk’s little Wild West Show finally came to an end, in a welter of bad behaviour, desperate arse-covering and lame excuse making. Had he not been ditched, many local activists would have resigned from the party or just declined to campaign for him. He had become poisonous.
The reign of Simon Danczuk and his pals in Rochdale was for a time, but not for all time. Just rejoice at that news.