HOWZAT? Taxpayers pick up travel tab for Danzcuk's cricket freebie

January 27, 2016 1:30 PM

Simon Danczuk, controversial MP for Rochdale, has been accused for pushing the expense boundaries once again. It can be revealed that Karen Danczuk, ex-wife of Simon, claimed a first class rail ticket on the taxpayer to be a guest of Japan Tobacco International at an England v India Test Match in August 2011 alongside her ex-husband. This was just months after voting against banning smoking in cars with children.

Danczuk has already caused controversy by publicly admitting accepting hospitality from the tobacco giants. He claims, as an ex-smoker he has "... smoker's interests at heart". The match in question finished with England thrashing India an innings and eight runs. Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen enjoyed a record partnership - scoring 235 and 175 respectively. Those figures pale into insignificance though with Danczuk's numbers - topping over £1,000 in hospitality and a £59, first class rail ticket purchased for a "dependent" and paid for by the taxpayer. The first class ticket was bought on 19th August, the same day the Danczuk's enjoyed the Test match.

In June 2011, just weeks before accepting hospitality from the tobacco giants, Mr Danczuk voted against a Private Member's Bill banning smoking in cars carrying children. This was despite the bill being supported by the British Lung Foundation.

Lib Dem leader in Rochdale Councillor Andy Kelly, who unearthed the figures, said: "I'm fuming. It appears that yet again, Mr Danczuk has been caught. The "Dependent" travel allowance should not be used to attend freebies at the Oval or anywhere else. This should be added to the already impressive expense figures currently being investigated. Mr Danczuk has claimed for over 125 first class train tickets for himself since 2014 and at the same time claimed 34 rail tickets at up to £170 a throw for 'dependents'. This is currently being investigated by Parliamentary watchdogs, and we expect a formal announcement on this by the end of the week. I'm fairly confident that Danczuk's innings as our MP could soon be over - it's time someone else batted for Rochdale."

Mr Danczuk has been reported earlier this week to parliamentary authorities and Greater Manchester Police. Parliamentary authorities are investigating "fraud allegations" made by the Liberal Democrats. The complaint relates, specifically about the misuse of allowances relating to "dependants" including false accommodation and travel costs. Mr Danczuk has been involved in a war of words with Lib Dem Andy Kelly over his first class rail ticket Cclaims. Mr Danczuk also claims that reports to the Parliamentary watchdog and Police by the Liberal Democrats are "... politically motivated".