Former MP weighs into Rochdale MPs expenses investigation

February 5, 2016 12:54 PM
  • Former MP Paul Rowen says Simon Danczuk must '...accept consequences of his actions.'
  • 'Rules are quite clear and he has broken them.'
  • War of words between Lib Dems and Danczuk continue.
Former Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has weighed into the row over Simon Danczuk's expenses. Paul, who has remained silent until now, has criticised the latest comments by Mr Danczuk trying to defend his expenses. This follows news that IPSA (the Independent Parliamentary Standard's Authority) is to carry out an official investigation into his accommodation claims. Before Mr Danczuk was elected to Parliament, he made great play of Paul Rowen claiming for bananas for Rochdale Sixth Form Students on work experience - even stalking the former MP dressed as a bunch of bananas.
Paul said: "Mr Danczuk's latest statement, blaming Government officials for mistakes in his claims - beggars belief. He is blaming IPSA officers earning a fraction of his salary for telling him his claims were OK - although there is no evidence to suggest he did actually take advice.
"He further claims that guidance provided by IPSA is 'vague and unclear.' For the record, I have checked this guidance which is publicly available."

The rules which Danzcuk is alleged to have brokenPara 4.22 states: An MP who is eligible to claim Accommodation Expenditure for rental costs may have his budget increased by up to £2,425 ... for each person for whom the MP has caring responsibilities ... provided that the dependent routinely resides at the rented accommodation.
"In order to claim this money, Mr Danczuk has to make a claim for every child and provide proof that he is the sole carer. He would have to have physically registered his 'dependents' and would have had to 'certify' that his children 'routinely' lived with him. As Mr Danczuk's Housing Association flat is in Pimlico, London and his children reside in Rochdale and Blackburn - which part of this guidance allows him to make a claim for money to which he is clearly not entitled?
"The only person responsible for these claims is Mr Danczuk himself and I hope that like other MPs who have submitted false claims in the past - he comes clean and accepts the consequences of this actions.
"Before he was elected, Mr Danczuk made a great play of the fact that I had claimed a few pounds for bananas and lattes claiming it was a misuse of the system. In fact, the claims were reimbursements for local Sixth Form students who were on work experience in Westminster and was their lunch. For the record they were not turned down by the authorities."
Paul now works in education and training, specialising in Local Government, Transport and Education and remains an active member of the Liberal Democrats.
Councillor Andy Kelly, Leader of Rochdale Lib Dems, has been in a war of words with Mr Danczuk. He said: "The treatment of Paul and his former staff at the hands of Simon Danczuk shows how hypocritical he is. In order to get elected, Danczuk painted a distorted view of Paul Rowen's expense claims. Claiming for lunch for young students from Rochdale pales into insignificance when compared to tens of thousands of 'dodgy' claims. Mr Danczuk, supported by his local Labour councillors continues to give politics in the town a bad name."