Simon Danczuk is accused of abusing his position of power as an MP

Rochdale by-election: Ex-Labour MP Simon Danczuk to stand for Reform UK

Simon Danczuk is standing in the Rochdale by-election for the Reform party.

The former Labour MP served in parliament from 2010 until 2017 but was blocked from standing in the snap election called by Theresa May after he sent explicit messages to a 17 year-old girl.

He looks set to face George Galloway, another former Labour MP, in the by-election, which will be held on 29 February after the death of Tony Lloyd last month.

Galloway has said he will stand on a pro-Palestine ticket to “teach Starmer a lesson”.

Galloway came third in a by-election in Batley and Spen in 2021, polling 21.9 per cent of the vote in a fraught contest.

The Labour Party candidate, Azhar Ali, is the leader of the Labour group on Lancashire county council, and has called for an “immediate” ceasefire in Gaza.

Announcing his decision to stand for Reform in the Rochdale by-election, Danczuk 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.

He added: “Where is the Labour Party on all that now? Rochdale has been taken for granted by Labour for too long”.

He also apologised for the texting scandal, admitting it was inappropriate and stupid and declaring: “There is no fool like an old fool”.

Danczuk stood as an independent in the 2017 general election, when he polled just 883 votes to Lloyd’s 29,035. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.