After being banned from standing as Labour’s candidate for Rochdale in next month’s General Election, Simon Danczuk decided, not that he needs the money you understand, to contest the seat as an independent. To achieve this, he needed several of the constituency’s voters to sign his nomination papers, and to declare his present address to the returning officer. But here a problem has entered.
Spanker may give the impression that the locals are queuing round the block to sign up, but the reality is that he has had to do more than a little searching in order to secure the necessary ten nominations. This may not be unrelated to the fact that any Labour Party member openly backing him would be in breach of party rules and therefore liable to be expelled. One wonders if he made this clear to his backers.
Your name is down as his proposer, and your address is on his nomination form
First of those backers to show some sign of realisation at what they had signed up for was ex-wife Karen, who is now claiming that she has left Labour of her own volition, getting most upset at the BuzzFeed News headline “Karen Danczuk Is Expected To Be Kicked Out Of The Labour Party … She’s expected to follow her ex-husband out of Labour for a breach of party rules”. But Jim Waterson was on solid ground with his story.
She doesn't want to make it public, so she's making it public instead
As he explained, “the party rulebook unambiguously states that where there is evidence of a party member supporting a candidate other than the official Labour candidate they will automatically become ineligible for party membership … The Labour compliance unit is now understood to be looking at Karen Danczuk's public declaration of support for her former partner”. And there is another question for Kazza to answer.
Her former husband’s nomination papers have her address down as his address (Zelo Street will not be spelling that out, although it is publicly available). Perhaps he has no alternative: he is believed to own other property in the Rochdale area, but it is rented out, and has presumably given notice on his Pimlico flat. It might have looked bad to put a London address on a nomination form for Rochdale, too.
Not waving but drowning
And then there is the distinct possibility of another Labour member getting kicked out for backing him: acting as agent for Spanker, I’m told, is local business owner Emma King. She was, at the last time of enquiring, a Labour member. But if she’s going to not only back Danczuk (she is his seconder on those nomination papers; Kazza is his proposer), but act as his election agent, there is no way she could continue to hold a Labour membership. So the compliance unit may have more than one case to consider.
And another candidate for expulsion?
I’m also told that there may be other Labour members among the other eight names on the Spanker nomination. Meanwhile, Kazza is maintaining she has not been expelled, that it’s all Labour’s fault, and is otherwise oblivious to the fact that the local Labour old guard, represented by council leader Richard Farnell, Danczuk’s former agent Allen Brett, and occasional London longer John Blundell, have all signed up to back Tony Lloyd.
Meanwhile, Lib Dem candidate Andy Kelly is believed to fancy his chances if Spanker takes enough off the Labour vote to rob Lloyd of victory, if not enough to save his deposit.