Simon Danczuk dismisses suggestions he is not fit to remain an MP

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Simon Danczuk: 'I've Made Real Mistakes'

Embattled Simon Danczuk has dismissed suggestions he is not fit to remain as an MP, after a wave of criticism over lewd texts he sent to a teenage girl.

The 49-year-old Rochdale MP has blamed a "drink problem" for the sexually-explicit messages 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".

Emerging from his constituency office, where protesters have gathered, Mr Danczuk insisted that allegations by ex-partners about his behaviour were irrelevant.

"It is not for ex-girlfriends or ex-wives to determine who the MP for Rochdale is. It is for the residents of Rochdale to determine who the MP for Rochdale is," he told reporters.

"I have been very clear about what issues I have addressed personally and I will continue to do so."

Mr Danczuk said he was planning to carry out visits in his constituency and "have a chat about it".