Simon Danczuk’s lightning-fast suspension from Labour – as they investigate whether he sent ‘lewd’ texts to a seventeen-year-old girl – is an embarrassing note to end the year on. Especially for an MP like Danczuk who has spent much of the last few years positioning himself as a campaigner against child abuse. He has described today’s story in the Sun as being ‘not entirely accurate’ but has suggested that his behaviour ‘was inappropriate’. ‘I was stupid and there’s no fool like an old fool’ he said via Twitter.
My behaviour was inappropriate & I apologise unreservedly to everyone I've let down. I was stupid & there's no fool like an old fool
— Simon Danczuk (@SimonDanczuk) December 31, 2015
Danczuk has now had the party whip removed, so he will sit as an independent MP. He seems to think it won’t last long. A friend of his has suggested that there was nothing inappropriate about the relationship, so he should be back within the comity of his party soon. ‘In the history of parliamentary sex scandals, this is not a significant episode. Unless Corbyn is instilling a new moral code that he hasn’t mentioned before, Simon will be cleared,’ the friend said.
While it may not be on the same scale as Lord Sewel’s sex scandal, Danczuk can’t really believe he has much hope of having the whip reinstated. Since Corbyn came to power, Danczuk has spent a significant amount of time denouncing his new leader. In a column for the Mail on Sunday in October titled ‘Labour is the “nasty party” now – and Jeremy’s hate mob could destroy us’ Danczuk referred to the ‘infection’ that Corbyn brought to the Labour leadership campaign. ‘Further signs the disease was spreading became evident in Corbyn’s frontbench appointments,’ he added. He later referred to Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s spin doctor, as ‘an apologist for terrorism and a cheerleader for communism’.
If he is even halfway right, then the Corbynistas will take this opportunity to purge him from the party and make Danczuk an unperson – at least as far as Labour is concerned. While there may not be a new moral code in place, there is certainly a new political one: those who denounce Corbyn can expect to be punished. As the forthcoming shadow cabinet reshuffle should attest.