A prominent Labour Party legislator known for his work exposing child sex abuse in his district has been suspended by the party for allegedly sending sexually explicit texts to a teenage girl.
The Rochdale MP is being investigated by the party’s ruling body after claims he bombarded the teenager Sophena Houlihan with lewd texts after she contacted him about a job.
Simon Danczuk said the reports in The Sun were “not entirely accurate” but added they referred “to an extremely low point in my life”.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “The General Secretary of the Labour Party has today suspended Simon Danczuk’s membership of the party, pending an investigation into allegations published in the media today.
“A full investigation will now take place under the authority of the National Executive Committee, which will be responsible for determining any further action.”
The teenager, who is now 18, said the 49-year-old MP sent her numerous messages, including one asking if she wanted a “spanking”.
She told the newspaper: “When I first got in touch I never expected the messages to get so graphic. At the time I played along with it, but now I feel like he duped me.
“I was keen for a career in politics and he is a very high profile MP and I was in awe of him.”
Mr Danczuk apologised “unreservedly” and admitted “there’s no fool like an old fool”.
He tweeted: “My behaviour was inappropriate & I apologise unreservedly to everyone I’ve let down. I was stupid & there’s no fool like an old fool.”
Mr Danczuk’s personal life has repeatedly made the headlines over the past year following the collapse of his marriage to wife Karen, who was dubbed the selfie queen after posting numerous photographs of herself in low cut tops.
Mr Danczuk said his campaign to expose child sex abuse had left him depressed and had helped to cause the split.
He later embarked on a very public relationship with a Labour councillor, Claire Hamilton, who tweeted after Christmas that she had “dumped” Mr Danczuk.
Mr Danczuk and the teenager exchanged messages for nearly one month before he asked how old she was, according to the newspaper.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme the NEC was an “objective” body and must be allowed to get on with its investigation.
He added: “It is a matter now for the National Executive Committee to investigate and then come forward with recommendations about Simon’s future.”
Christopher B. Taub