As if the twists and turns of the Rochdale constituency saga were not enough in themselves, with former MP Simon Danczuk barred from standing for Labour, former Greater Manchester interim Mayor Tony Lloyd inserted as the candidate instead, and then Danczuk deciding to run as an independent, possibly because he’d miss out on some more money unless he fought the election and lost, there has been more today.
Overnight had come the news that Danczuk’s latest squeeze, Charlene Meade, had at last seen sense and dumped him. As she has now taken her Twitter feed private, we have to rely on press reports to relay the news. For this, the Murdoch Sun claimed an exclusive. So Spanker was now on his own. And he wasn’t pleased. So he decided to take it out on the unfortunate people at BuzzFeed News.
Tomorrow, there will be a hustings event put on for a group of local business people. The lunch event is called the “Rochdale Hour”. Danczuk declared that he would not participate if anyone from BuzzFeed were invited. As the excellent Rochdale Online has reported, “The organiser, Damien Maddock, is reported to have withdrawn Buzzfeed's invitation to the 'Rochdale Hour' business lunch, saying ‘his hand had been forced’”.
Their report added “Buzzfeed is a well respected global news organisation headquartered in New York with offices in cities around the world … Last week a BuzzFeed reporter called on Karen Danczuk to make enquiries about Danczuk claiming on his election nomination papers that he lived with her - something she denied before launching a tirade on Twitter against BuzzFeed”. The other candidates were unimpressed.
“Lib Dem candidate Andy Kelly said: ‘Disgusting behaviour by Danczuk and disappointing decision by the organisers. Danczuk should not be allowed to dictate who attends and reports. In the circumstances I will not be attending’ … A spokesman for the Labour Party said: ‘It is deeply concerning for a candidate to be allowed to prevent a well respected, bonafide news organisation from attending’ … Conservative candidate Jane Howard said the organisers should tell Danczuk it is not for him to dictate who can attend, she said: ‘It should be open for any media to go along and report on the hustings’”.
Then, as Tony Lloyd had also apparently declined to go along with the ban, BuzzFeed was re-invited. Rochdale Online again: “Mr Maddock has now taken the decision to re-invite Buzzfeed and Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Al-Othman has accepted the re-invitation”. So what’s Spanker going to do? Will he stay away?
“It is not known if Danczuk will now boycott the meeting, as he threatened, as he refuses to respond to Rochdale Online”. So who knows. And, indeed, who cares? Simon Danczuk has tried to throw his weight around, unaware that his word no longer carries much weight in the constituency he represented for seven years.
And whether his ex-wife Karen turns up, seeings she hates BuzzFeed as well, nobody cares either. The era of the Danczuks in Rochdale was for a time, but not for all time.