UK Politics

Simon Danczuk admits receiving photo agency payment

Simon Danczuk
Image caption Simon Danczuk says it was a properly declared payment

Labour MP Simon Danczuk has admitted receiving £1,100 from a photo agency for pictures of him sold to tabloid newspapers and magazines.

Mr Danczuk told BBC Newsnight it was a properly declared payment for media advice and to "give ideas about what they might or might not do."

The Rochdale MP said he did not make any apologies for the arrangement.

FameFlynet describes itself as one of the most powerful photographic news agencies around the world.

'Provides transparency'

Mr Danczuk said: "What I have done with that organisation is to provide media advice and give ideas about what they might or might not do and that's my choice if I want to do that type of work and I don't make any apologies for it.

"There's nothing against doing that. It provides insight, it provides some transparency in terms of my life, not anything that I have ever shied away from.

"I readily accept that I do media work of various kinds and that is all declared quite clearly in the register of members' interests."

FameFlynet said it "prides itself on helping people in the public eye to raise their media profile. We use the mainstream press to achieve this".

A spokesman said: "Our work is mainly done through clever PR and promotional activities. We do not hide this from anybody and stress to our clients that we all have to be transparent.

"Over the years we have been extremely successful in this work and feel our expertise is a benefit to our clients."

'Inappropriate' behaviour'

It is the latest twist in the furore surrounding Mr Danczuk, 49, who is fighting to save his career following revelations that he sent lewd messages to a 17-year-old woman.

In his Newsnight interview, Mr Danczuk apologised for his behaviour and blamed tabloid newspapers for blowing the story out of all proportion.

He said he feared his work campaigning against child sex abuse might be tarnished by the current stories around his private life but he admitted he had brought this upon himself by messaging the girl.

"It was inappropriate and I have apologised for that unreservedly. I think you have to see the context of this.

"This young woman got in touch with me some months ago, during the course of several months we had exchanges across social media, and just at a low point in my life in September she sent me some sexual texts and I responded accordingly and I shouldn't have responded. Wholly inappropriate, no doubt about that."

He added: "My credibility has been dented, I readily accept that, and I have to work harder than ever before to prove myself.

"There is a dramatic difference between what I have done, some sexting with a young woman above the legal age - nothing illegal - the police have said there is no case to answer.

"That is in sharp contrast to what I have always campaigned on, which is child sexual abuse of the most criminal nature."

Watch the full interview with Simon Danczuk here.

BBC Newsnight airs every weekday at 22:30 GMT on BBC Two. You can catch up on iPlayer and follow Newsnight on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

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