Simon Danczuk – hounded by the Corbyn wing of the Labour Party on account of his love life – has seen this morning’s revelations about Seumas Milne, and he has some words of advice for the spin chief who worked against him. Simon tells Guido:
“I see Jeremy Corbyn’s right hand man has been photographed with a young lady who is not his wife. I was under the impression that dating younger women wasn’t permitted in Corbyn’s morally pure Labour Party. But for those at the top of the party machine it seems it’s fine to have a colourful love life – just as long as it’s conducted in secret. I’m sure when browsing his morning copy of The Sun Jeremy will have been offended by Seumas’s conduct, will have called him in for a quiet word this morning and will sack him by this evening. If Seumas needs any advice on how to handle these situations he can always give me a call.”
He has a very fair point…
Simon Danczuk has confirmed to Guido he is standing for re-election as an independent. His nomination papers went in on yesterday afternoon. His candidacy comes despite The Sun splashing on a new rape allegation this morning…
“Corybn’s Labour are taking Rochdale people for granted by assuming they will just vote for any Corbyn extremist that they get to stand. 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.”
Danczuk said he had received nominations from “right across the constituency” and has appointed local businesswoman, Emma King as his agent. He continued:
“There is no doubt that a vote for Danczuk is a vote against Corbyn.”
Dan-chucks his name in to the hat despite everything…
Simon Danczuk has tonight resigned from the Labour Party in a strong sign he may be preparing to stand as an independent candidate in Rochdale. He writes to Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol:
“The Labour Party is no longer the positive political movement that I joined nearly 30 years ago. Indeed, under its current leadership the Labour Party is more interested in serving its own ends rather than those of hard working people for whom the party was originally established.
“With frontbench spokespeople, such as John McDonnell, continually obsessing about Karl Marx, the benefits of communism and celebrating the reign of Joseph Stalin, I feel the Labour Party has totally lost touch with its social democratic values and indeed with reality in 21st Century Britain.
“Importantly, I am also concerned that the Labour Party has shown itself not to have the interests of Rochdale at heart. The way in which the party are treating the Parliamentary seat of Rochdale as a ‘safe seat’ in to which they can simply parachute a Corbyn supporting candidate is deplorable. The People of Rochdale deserve so much more than being treated with such disdain by the Labour Party.
“With Theresa May likely to win a landslide victory at the General Election and subsequently holding a very large majority in Parliament, Rochdale people need someone who will speak up for them, who will voice their concerns rather than simply being voting fodder for Jeremy Corbyn.”
Sounds like Danczuk is lining himself up for a serious run at the seat…
Danczuk’s downfall leaves Rochdale up for grabs: it might sound like a safe Labour seat but the LibDems have won it four times since 1972. Danczuk increased Labour’s majority from 889 in 2010 (when he took the seat off the LibDems) to 12,442 in 2015 – UKIP came second and the Tories a close third. If he stands as an independent – which, considering he has been threatening to for months, is highly likely – he would split the Labour vote. Take into account a collapsing UKIP vote and May’s opinion polls, and it becomes plausible the Tories could take seat they last held in 1951. With an independent Danczuk, Rochdale will be a fascinating five-way marginal…
Corbynista-ultra Katy Clark is being talked about as the current favourite to replace Danczuk on the ballot. Clark works in Corbyn’s office as his political secretary so her selection would be the ultimate parachute-job: it’s far from clear if that would fly with the CLP, who have several local councillor candidates lined up to choose from. Last week Clark withdrew from the race to replace Andy Burnham in Leigh, so she’s definitely interested in a Manchester seat. Perhaps she saw Rochdale on the horizon…
Even more galling for Danczuk – Guido hears he was made to speak to Katy Clark as his leader’s office contact regarding his suspension as recently as last week. A source said:
“Simon was on the phone to Katy just days ago trying to get some information from the leader’s office on what was going to happen, whether he would be let back in or not. All the time she was lining herself up for the seat.”
Likewise, a senior Shadow Cabinet minister is said to have called Danczuk warning him of Clark’s intentions. Will Rochdale tolerate a Corbyn shoo-in?
Simon Danczuk asks a pertinent question:
“How come Ken can have two disciplinary hearings & I can’t even have one? I think it’s favouritism cause he’s mates with Jeremy.”
Selfie Queen Karen Danczuk told the BBC last week:
“I’ve been thinking this past week… I would love to be an MP. I genuinely would and I just hope I can get the support out there to enable that, because I think my voice is important.”
Where could she stand? Guido hears Karen is looking at Manchester’s Heywood and Middleton, a Labour seat currently occupied by the uninspiring Liz McInnes, who is currently battling the Momentum hordes in her CLP. Karen said last year:
“I really want to fight Middleton & Heywood at the next General Election for MP!! It’s time they had a home girl putting the town first.”
Which would throw up the prospect of Heywood and its neighbouring Rochdale constituency being held by a former husband and wife…
There are of course other seats without sitting Labour MPs, nearby Rossendale and Darwen is held by Jake Berry with an increased majority of over 5,000 votes against Will Straw. That would not be an easy fight….