‘Unity’: Rochdale MP Danczuk swaps coup for camaraderie after Corbyn’s Labour win

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk is apparently ‘looking forward’ to a ‘fresh start’ for Labour despite saying he would seek to oust Jeremy Corbyn ‘on day one’ of his tenure just a month ago. 

After Mr Corbyn’s landslide win in the Labour leadership race, in which he secured 59.5% of the votes, there has been much speculation how his left wing politics will sit with those on the right of the party – such as Mr Danczuk.

In his first speech as Labour leader Mr Corbyn stressed the importance of ‘unity’  and, if the Rochdale politician’s heel turn is anything to go by, it seems this is a shared focus throughout the party.

Mr Danczuk said: “After the long slog of the leadership contest, I am looking forward to a fresh start for the Labour Party.

“We now have the chance to move on from the General Election defeat we suffered in May.

“There has been a heated debate on all sides during the last three months but now is the time for unity and to focus on opposing this Tory Government.

“I am encouraged by some of the Shadow Cabinet appointments and I hope this is an early sign that Jeremy Corbyn is serious about broadening his appeal to more moderate voters.

“That is what we need to do if Labour is going to win in 2020.

“Tough times are ahead, but I look forward to working with the new frontbench team to make sure hardworking families in Rochdale are well represented by Labour in Parliament.”

These comments are a stark contrast to those he made while speaking to Iain Dale on LBC Radio on August 12.

Mr Danczuk was then adament that he would not put up with Mr Corbyn’s ‘crazy left wing policies’ and gave the Islington MP a year in power at best.

When asked if he would be plotting against Mr Corbyn from day one, he said: “Yeah, if not before. As soon as the result comes out.

“Am I going to put up with some crazy left wing policies that he is putting forward and traipse through the voting lobby to support him?

“It’s not going to happen is it? So I would give him about twelve months if he does become leader.”

But it seems the pair have put their past behind them, perhaps allaying some fears that Mr Corbyn’s left wing politics would be a hinderance to his leadership of all factions of the Labour party.

Mr Corbyn has even extended an olive branch to Mr Danczuk by promising to wear a traditional red poppy on Remembrance Sunday after an appeal from the Greater Manchester MP in a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party yesterday.

Mr Danczuk was concerned after earlier suggestions Mr Corbyn might wear a white poppy – a symbol of peace and pacifism.

“A high number of people in Rochdale are recruited into the armed forces, and Remembrance Sunday is a very important date in the town,” said Mr Danczuk.
“Will you agree not to wear the white poppy at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday this November?”
Mr Corbyn originally replied that he ‘didn’t know’ what his plans are this year but later confirmed he would wear a British Legion red poppy for the occasion.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Danczuk said: “Remembrance Sunday is all about remembering those who died defending our country and paying our respects to them.
“I understand that people want to promote peace and disarmament, but Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph is not the time or place to do it.

“I welcome Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to wear the traditional red poppy this November and I support his wearing of a white poppy to mark other events such as the International Day of Peace later this month.”

While Mr Corbyn may have been the runaway winner in the race for Labour leadership, one of his hardest tasks – and most important – will be to win over the right-leaning politicians in the party.

If he is to hold onto his position, and if Labour is to move forward, it must do so as one – mending bridges with Mr Danczuk is, indeed, a good start.

Image courtesy of BBC via. YouTube, with thanks.

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