MP Simon Danczuk blames drink problem for sex texts to teenager


MP Simon Danczuk has said a "drink problem" led him to send sexually explicit messages to a teenage girl.

The 49 year old added he felt "awful" about lewd texts he sent to Sophena Houlihan when she was 17.

He has been suspended from the Labour Party while an investigation takes place into his conduct, for which he has apologised "unreservedly".

The messages followed the collapse of his marriage to wife Karen, who was dubbed the selfie queen after posting numerous photographs of herself in low-cut tops.

The MP for Rochdale told the Sun he felt "lonely" and was "drunk" while on holiday in Spain when he sent the texts.

He said: "I have a drink problem, and that is a major contributory reason why I sent the messages. 

"I've seen a psychiatrist about it and he's told me to stop drinking for six months.

"I feel awful about what happened. I don't know what came over me. I'm so embarrassed that I've been such an idiot. I'm sorry for letting my family down and I'm already dreading my young sons finding out when they are older.

The father of five added "younger women are my Achilles heel" but said he knew sending the messages was "wrong" and his behaviour had "played on his mind".

Miss Houlihan, who is now 18, said Mr Danczuk sent her numerous messages, including one asking if she wanted a "spanking" after she contacted him about a job.

The pair exchanged messages for nearly a month before he asked how old she was, according to the newspaper. He said, at first, he considered it a "professional conversation".

His personal life has repeatedly made the headlines over the past year, including the ending of a relationship with a Labour councillor, Claire Hamilton, who tweeted after Christmas that she had "dumped" him.

Mr Danczuk has previously spoken about how his work to expose child sex abuse had left him depressed and he was receiving psychiatric treatment, meaning he would be stepping back from his campaigning.