Lib Dems put official complaint in about Danczuk's expenses
Rochdale Lib Dems have officially complained to Parliamentary watchdog IPSA and Greater Manchester Police about controversial Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk. They have alleged a "misuse of public funds" and called for a full investigation into Mr Danczuk claiming thousands of pounds under the Parliamentary living allowance scheme. Mr Danczuk claimed £9,700 a year for four "dependents", despite never seeing his two eldest children, and his two youngest residing in Rochdale. Lib Dems have claimed this is an abuse of the system and asked Greater Manchester Police to investigate.
Rochdale Lib Dem leader Andy Kelly said: "Everyone knows that Simon Danczuk is morally bankrupt. These latest revelations beggar belief - Mr Danczuk is one of Britain's most expensive MPs, he'll claim for anything. To claim thousands for children he doesn't see is not just wrong - it is fraud. I look forward to a thorough investigation by both the Parliamentary authorities and the Police."
Dave Hennigan, former agent to former Rochdale MP Paul Rowen, made the complaints on behalf of Rochdale Lib Dems. He said: "Mr Danczuk is a hypocrite and I am not surprised that we have found expense claims that appear fraudulent. MPs have gone to prison for less! Mr Danczuk has run out of chances - this time he is facing the end of a colourful career in politics.
Both Greater Manchester Police and IPSA are currently assessing whether to launch an investigation. Chris Sykes from Greater Manchester Police said: "Thanks for your letter of today. Please let us assess it and we'll be in touch in due course." Chris Veck, Investigations Officer at IPSA said: "The Compliance Officer is aware of the allegations made in the press over the weekend and is currently assessing the information. As such we shall include the comments made in your letter as part of our existing assessment. Once a decision has been made whether or not to open an investigation, we shall get back in touch to provide you with further information."
FULL TEXT OF COMPLAINT:
I am writing regarding further revelations about Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk and an alleged misuse of public funds. You will be aware of a previous complaint regarding Mrs Karen Danczuk (Burke) and her employment as a 'Senior Caseworker' at Mr Danczuk's office.
I would like you to carry out an urgent investigation into Mr Danczuk's child support claims linked with his rental costs. Mr Danczuk has claimed thousands in expenses for his four children under a living allowance scheme. I understand that under any claim for the Parliamentary living allowance scheme for dependents - the children must spend some time in the accommodation.
It is my information that Mr Danczuk has not seen his 2 eldest children for many years - this is despite claiming for them. Further to that - it is clear that Mr Danczuk's youngest 2 children are resident in Rochdale. It is my belief that this is a clear abuse of the system and I would be grateful if you could investigate these claims as soon as possible. It is my belief that Mr Danczuk has been fraudulently abusing the system to the tune of £9700 per year.
Further to this, I would like you to investigate the purchase of 34 Rail Tickets totalling £2027.15, many of them First Class that Mr Danczuk claimed for 'dependents'. As his ex-wife was formerly staff and his 2 youngest children too young - coupled with the fact that he has not seen his eldest children - it is my firm belief that Mr Danczuk has again been abusing the system. The cost to the taxpayer ranges from £25 right up to £170. As many of the tickets were purchased during term time - it is highly unlikely that his 2 youngest travelled in any case. I would be grateful if you could outline the rules with regards to the travel costs of MP's 'Dependents' and adjudicate whether Mr Danczuk has broken any more rules and what consequences he may face.
It is clear that MPs have a duty of care with regards to the use of public funds. It is imperative that the public have utmost trust in our politicians.