MP accused of rape 'relieved' case has been dropped


An MP accused of rape dating back 10 years said he is "relieved" that the case against him has been dropped.

Simon Danczuk, who was suspended by the Labour Party, described the investigation by Lancashire Police as an "immensely stressful period for me and my family".

The Crown Prosecution Service said no further action should be taken against the Rochdale MP because of "insufficient evidence".

Mr Danczuk said he now hopes to have the Labour whip restored "as soon as possible".

In a statement, he said: "I am grateful for the decision made by the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and I am relieved that the investigation has now come to an end.

"Even though I maintained my innocence throughout, this has been an immensely stressful period for me and my family. I thank them for their continuing support."

He added: "I now expect the Labour Party to conclude their investigation into these matters and lift my suspension as soon as possible."

A CPS spokesman said the woman who made the allegation, dating back to 2006, has been informed.

He added: "Following receipt of a file from Lancashire Police in relation to Operation Lotus, the evidence was considered by a specialist prosecutor in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"It has been decided that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction."

The father-of-five's personal life has repeatedly made the headlines over the past few years following the collapse of his marriage to wife Karen.

The 49-year-old was also forced to apologise over a separate incident involving lewd texts sent to a 17-year-old, which he blamed on a "drink problem".

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: "We entirely respect the decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service and would like to thank them for considering this matter so carefully.

"Whenever anyone takes the brave step to come forward to the police, or provides evidence to such an investigation making serious allegations of a sexual nature, it is absolutely right that we carry out a professional investigation into all such reports, while recognising the impact on all those involved can be significant.

"While these allegations were made against a public figure, we have been committed throughout to investigating this matter in the same professional and victim-focused way that we would all such allegations.

"We also recognise the personal impact such proceedings may have on the person against whom the allegations are made and have sought throughout to ensure the investigation is conducted in a fair, professional and proportionate way."