Scotland Yard to investigate Danczuk

March 5, 2016 2:55 PM

Under fire Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk's expenses will be investigated by the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command Unit at Scotland Yard. This is the first time that the Police have officially acknowledged they will be investigating Mr Danczuk. A complaint was made by the Rochdale Liberal Democrats to both IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standard's Authority) and to Greater Manchester Police. London's Metropolitan Police will now investigate as the offences fall under their jurisdiction.

In a letter to Rochdale Lib Dem David Hennigan, Detective Inspector Howard Holt of the Met said: "I am the Operational Head of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Special Enquiry Team, a unit from the Homicide and Major Crime Command. My team have the responsibility for assessing allegations of crime relating to matters of fraud and misconduct by those in a public office.

Following on from your, dated 25th January 2016 I can confirm that my team are in the process of assessing the allegations that you make. They are in contact with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and we will then conduct our own enquiries to determine whether any criminal offences have been committed."

Rochdale Lib Dem leader Andy Kelly said: "This whole affair is dragging our town through the mire. It is only right and proper that the Met in London investigate. These are extremely serious allegations involving tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer's cash. We look forward to a swift conclusion to these matters that could see Mr Danczuk go to jail.

"Since we alleged Rochdale's MP of fraud - I have been subjected to a tirade of personal attacks by members of the Rochdale Labour Party. This has been through letters to the local newspapers and on social media. We will not let these attacks stop us from getting to the truth of any dodgy claims by Mr Danczuk or indeed any other person who we believe has defrauded the public purse."

Simon Danczuk has been accused of claiming thousands of pounds extra for his London accommodation - a Housing Association flat in Pimlico, London. He claimed that his four children were 'dependents' and 'routinely' stayed with him in London. Lib Dems claimed that this was a clear breach of Parliamentary rules and promptly asked authorities to investigate. IPSA are also investigating a parking claim that Mr Danczuk made in August 2015 - a claim that was against the rules as part of this time he was on holiday at his villa in Spain.

David Hennigan, who reported Mr Danczuk, said: "We're pleased that the Police are treating our allegations with such seriousness. Mr Danczuk has displayed a cavalier attitude to claiming from the public and we will be fully cooperating with the Police to ensure any investigation is robust and fair. Mr Danczuk has proved a hypocrite of the highest order - he has form for criticising MPs for expenses including having a pop at former Labour Colleague Andy Burnham's accommodation claims in the Labour Leadership Election. Now the shoe is on the other foot and I have no regrets about making him face the music."