Simon Danczuk dismisses calls to resign over 'sexting' teenager

The MP said it was for the people of Rochdale to decide

Jon Stone@joncstone
Monday 04 January 2016 13:12
Protest outside Simon Danczuk's office

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has dismissed suggestions that he should step down after allegations he exchanged a series of sexual text messages with a 17-year-old girl.

Mr Danczuk, who was suspended from the Labour party shortly after the allegations emerged, said the people of Rochdale should decide who their MP was.

“It is not for ex-girlfriends or ex-wives to determine who the MP for Rochdale is. It is for the residents of Rochdale to determine who the MP for Rochdale is," he told reporters outside his constituency office.

“I have been very clear about what issues I have addressed personally and I will continue to do so.”

The MP has however stopped short of calling a by-election to allow voters to remove him.

His ex-girlfriend and Labour councillor Claire Hamilton had told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that the MP did not have a “stop button” when it came to consuming alcohol.

She added that her discovery of Mr Danczuk’s text messages had led to the ending of their relationship in the days after Christmas.

Other allegations of a serious nature have been made against the MP by his first ex-wife.

Mr Danczuk threatened legal action against Sonia Rossington after she made the claims in an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper. He says the allegations were “defamatory” and “malicious”.

The MP has set off on a walkabout of his constituency with the apparent intention of gauging public opinion.

Has his left his Rochdale office he was greeted by a protest from residents calling on him to resign.

Former Liberal Democrat Rochdale councillor Liz Thirsk, who was involved in organising the protest, told the Today programme that Mr Danczuk had to "tell us why he won't resign".

Mr Danczuk said the original sexing allegations were “not entirely accurate” but referred to a difficult time in his life.

He is currently being investigated by Labour 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.