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Former Labour MP Simon Danczuk is standing as Reform candidate in the Rochdale by-election
1 February 2024, 17:29
Former Labour MP Simon Danczuk is standing as the Reform Party’s candidate in the Rochdale by-election.
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Mr Danczuk, who represented the seat from 2010 to 2017 and helped expose the Rochdale grooming scandal has defected to the Richard Tice-led party ahead of the poll.
He told The Sun: “The Labour party is just focused on the North London view of things now.
“They have gone from work to woke.
“I was traditional Labour. It meant standing up for people who were working, getting people off benefits into work, reducing illegal immigration.
“Where is the Labour Party on all that now?
"Rochdale has been taken for granted by Labour for too long.”
The outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn was suspended by Labour and blocked from standing in 2017 after being caught sending explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl.
He apologised for the texting scandal, admitting it was inappropriate and stupid and declared: “There is no fool like an old fool”.
Community and racial tensions over the war in Gaza and the grooming scandals are expected to spill over into the byelection and it could be one of the most toxic campaigns in years.
Mr Danczuk used to be married to so-called selfie queen Karen Danczuk, but they separated in 2015.
He has recently married 28-year-old Rwandan beauty therapist Claudine Uwamahoro.