Thursday 27 October 2016

MP dismisses calls to resign over sex texts to teen

James Tapsfield in London

Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30

Simon Danczuk
Simon Danczuk

Embattled MP Simon Danczuk has dismissed suggestions he is not fit to remain as an MP, after a wave of criticism over lewd texts he sent to a teenage girl.

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The 49-year-old Rochdale representative has blamed a "drink problem" for the sexually-explicit messages he sent to Sophena Houlihan when she was 17.

He has been suspended from the Labour Party while an investigation takes place into his conduct, for which he has apologised "unreservedly".

Emerging from his constituency office, where protesters have gathered, Mr Danczuk insisted allegations by ex-partners about his behaviour were irrelevant.

"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.

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

Mr Danczuk said he was planning to carry out visits in his constituency and "have a chat about it".

He said he was being "lambasted" for being a working class Boris Johnson as he vowed to carry on as Rochdale MP.

The embattled politician compared his treatment in the media to that of the London mayor, as he dismissed a small protest outside his constituency office as a "rag tag" bunch of political opponents.


He has blamed a "drink problem" for his tangled personal life, resulting in the sexually-explicit messages he sent to Ms Houlihan when she was 17.

Yesterday, Mr Danczuk said: "I do think there is an interesting dichotomy between people like Boris Johnson, who make a lot of money as a member of Parliament and indeed as mayor of London whilst writing for the Daily Telegraph and the right-wing media and who has a very colourful personal life.

"And yet a working class lad like me in Rochdale, who writes for some of the national newspapers and has a working class colourful personal life, I get lambasted, whilst Boris, playing it out with debutantes and all the rest of it in this upper-class world, doesn't get lambasted.

"And I think there is still very much an establishment, class issue going on in terms of, you know, it's a sociological issue is this, about how some of this stuff plays out. I think it's quite interesting."

Irish Independent

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