Simon Danczuk to run as independent MP amid fresh rape allegations

MP says 'a vote for him is a vote against Jeremy Corbyn'

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Indy Politics

Former Labour MP Simon Danczuk has announced he will stand as an independent candidate in Rochdale, despite claims he is being investigated by police over allegations of rape.

The controversial politician, who was banned from the party last year after it emerged he had exchanged sexual texts with a 17-year-old, announced he would stand for re-election as an independent in the seat he has held since 2010.

In a statement, he said there was no doubt a vote for him  “is a vote against Corbyn”, political blog Guido Fawkes reported.

The MP, who has been an outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn, said the party leadership was “taking Rochdale people for granted by assuming they will just vote for any Corbyn extremist that they get to stand”.

He said: "I’m not convinced that Tony Lloyd has a strong enough voice or the energy and enthusiasm to represent Rochdale well. 

“It’s as though Tony, who is 68, sees Parliament as a retirement home, in which he can potter around, rather than a place where he can make Rochdale’s voice heard.”

His nomination papers were submitted on Tuesday afternoon, just two days before the deadline, despite the fact that The Sun newspaper reported he was being investigated over a fresh allegation that he raped a woman in Westminster

Mr Danczuk has denied the allegations, saying: “The Metropolitan Police have not been in touch with me about this.

“It is a totally false allegation and I look forward to the police clearing it up. 

“But I am very intrigued by the timing of it, two days before the closure of nominations for the parliamentary election in Rochdale”.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “A woman has alleged that she was raped by a man in his 50s.

“The incident is alleged to have occurred in May 2016 at a location in Westminster.

“No arrests have been made and enquires continue."

Mr Danczuk was previously told he could not stand as a Labour MP over the 2015 controversy where he is alleged to have texted student Sophena Houliham that she wanted a “spanking” after she applied for a job in his constituency office.

Labour has chosen Tony Lloyd to replace Simon Danczuk in Rochdale

The MP has been at war with the Labour leadership since Mr Corbyn became leader in 2015. 

Their chosen replacement, Mr Lloyd, was previously MP for Manchester Central but resigned to stand as a police and crime commissioner in 2012. 

The role became redundant following the election of Andy Burnham as the Manchester metro area mayor last week.

Privately, Labour fears Mr Danczuk could split the vote in what was formerly a safe seat, making it a five way fight with Mr Corbyn's party, the Liberal Democrats, Ukip and the Conservatives.