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Labour MP Simon Danczuk suspended by party over 'inappropriate' behaviour

Labour MP Simon Danczuk said his behaviour was 'inappropriate'. Credit: ITV News

Simon Danczuk's membership of the Labour Party has been suspended following allegations he sent sexually explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl, the party has announced.

The Rochdale MP is being investigated by the party's ruling body after claims in The Sun that he bombarded Sophena Houlihan with lewd texts after she contacted him about a job.

The General Secretary of the Labour Party has today suspended Simon Danczuk's membership of the Party, pending an investigation into allegations published in the media today. A full investigation will now take place under the authority of the National Executive Committee, which will be responsible for determining any further action.

– Labour party spokesperson

The teenager, who is now 18, said the 49-year-old sent her numerous messages, including one asking if she wanted a "spanking".

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Ms Houlihan said: "When I first got in touch I never expected the messages to get so graphic. At the time I played along with it, but now I feel like he duped me.

"I was keen for a career in politics and he is a very high profile MP and I was in awe of him."

She added that Mr Danczuk "should have known better".

Posting on Twitter, Mr Danczuk said the reports were "not entirely accurate" but added they referred "to an extremely low point in my life".

"No fool like an old fool"

The MP also apologised "unreservedly" and admitted "there's no fool like an old fool".

Mr Danczuk's personal life has repeatedly made the headlines over the past year following the collapse of his marriage to wife Karen.

The MP said his campaign to expose child sex abuse had left him depressed and had contributed to the breakdown of their relationship.

He later embarked on a relationship with Labour councillor, Claire Hamilton, who tweeted after Christmas that she had "dumped" him.

Simon Danczuk pictured with Claire Hamilton on Christmas Day shortly before their split. Credit: Twitter/Claire Hamilton

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the decision over Mr Danczuk's future would not be down to him.

During a visit to York, he said: "There will now be an independent investigation. He will make his case to that investigation.

"The concerns that have been raised will be discussed with him and a decision will be reached.

"But that will be independent, it will not be down to me or any other individual to decide what happens."

Ken Livingstone, who is on Labour's National Executive Committee said the claims that had been made against Danczuk were "really disturbing" and particularly "bizarre" given the MP's recent involvement in sex abuse enquiries in his constituency.

Speaking on LBC he said: "I just find it so bizarre because he put himself at the centre of the investigation into sex abuse of young girls in his area and so on."

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