Simon Danczuk: MP 'sold interview about sexting scandal to tabloid for £5,000'

Mr Danczuk was reportedly paid a fee of £5,000 for an interview with a tabloid newspaper about allegations relating to his personal life

Labour MP Simon Danczuk charged £5,000 for a newspaper interview in which he discussed sexually explicit messages he exchanged with a teenage girl, it has been reported.

The Rochdale MP was suspended from the Labour Party last week after it emerged that he sent messages to Sophena Houlihan, then 17-years-old, who contacted him to ask for work in his constituency office. 

The Observer reports that Mr Danczuk, 49, charged The Sun on Sunday the £5,000 fee for an interview in which he said he had sent the explicit messages because he was “drunk, horny and on my own” and said that younger women are his “Achilles heel”.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the MP contacted Ms Houlihan again to invite her to meet up for coffee and told her she would be paid a fee if she agreed to be photographed by an agency alongside him. 

Ms Houlihan told The Sun that she turned down his offer, saying: “I couldn’t believe he was trying to arrange a meeting with me — and told me I’d make a few quid. What an insult.”

Mr Danczuk denied any wrongdoing and insisted he was trying to make amends with Ms Houlihan

On Monday, Mr Danczuk confirmed to the BBC that he had received a separate payment of £1,100 from a photo agency for images taken of him which were subsequently sold to the press. He dismissed claims that he was seeking to profit financially from his notoriety and told reporters that he stood by the payment, saying: “I don’t think it’s wrong at all, actually.”

When asked by The Observer about the alleged £5,000 payment from The Sun, Mr Danczuk reportedly replied: “I am not talking to the press.”

He is currently being investigated by Labour's national executive committee under the party's displinary procedures. It has been suggested that he may have brought the party into disrepute, which would contravene party rules.

The Independent has contacted Mr Danczuk for comment.

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