Last week Karen Danczuk, the wife of Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk, last week found herself under attack from the presenters of ITV’s Loose Women, who accused Mrs Danczuk of being irresponsible and a bad role model for posting a series of revealing pictures online.
Mrs Danczuk, 31, who is a Rochdale Labour councillor, had been invited onto the show specifically to discuss the pictures, which she posts on Twitter, in which her cleavage is fully visible.
First Janet Street-Porter laid into the councillor, telling her she felt “ashamed” that Danczuk could think “getting your assets out on a Friday night and posting a picture” is appropriate when she is viewed as a role model by girls in Rochdale.
Street-Porter argued that Mrs Danczuk’s pictures were particularly unsuitable given the fact that two years ago men from Rochdale were jailed after being found guilty of running a child sexual exploitation ring and abusing young girls. “You’re a councillor in Rochdale and Rochdale has reached the headlines in a very unfortunate way firstly because of the allegations of child sex abuse and secondly in 2012 nine men went to prison for having sex with under-age girls that they had groomed." She added, "The young women of Rochdale look to you to be a role model and I think you carry a responsibility as a female politician."
The 31-year-old replied: "I don't think you can blame the whole sex grooming scandal on me.
"I think we have to lose the argument that if you have a short top or skirt on that you are a target. The argument that wearing revealing clothes is not an invitation for sexual activity and should not be interpreted as such was one put forth by many who jumped to the councillor’s defence on Twitter.
Mrs Danczuk immediately responded to the criticism by reasoning that her job as councillor should not wholly dictate what she does in her personal life. "I do a very stressful job so have a very long week, I get dressed up on a Friday night, take a selfie. Why not?" asked the councillor. Danczuk argued that, actually, the images would show her young female followers that a you can be both a high-powered career woman and glamorous. Defending herself, she said, "The people of Rochdale are very proud of me at the moment and they are so excited that I am sat here today," said Danczuk. She continued, “these young girls in Rochdale will think: ‘You know what, you can be glamorous. Why can’t politics have glamour?’”
Presenter Jamelia sided with Streeter-Porter by telling Mrs Danczuk that she was “concerned” by the clothes the councillor chooses to wear. "Why is exposing yourself seen as synonymous with glamour or beauty?" she asked Danczuk. The singer and model then told Danczuk, “You’re in a position of influence and power, you should be implementing change and representing your constituency in a positive way,” before asking her, "What changes are you implementing in Rochdale now?”
Mrs Danczuk responded to Jamelia by implying her hypocrisy, as a woman who has appeared in equally skimpy clothes, asking Jamelia, "What changes are you making as a pop star wearing short dresses? You've worn the short skirts in pop videos. It's a selfie, that's what they're about.”
Following the show Mrs Danczuk took to Twitter to substantiate her point, posting a picture of scantily-clad Jamelia posing provocatively.
Mrs Danczuk took to Twitter to highlight Jamelia's hypocrisy
Jamelia tweeted an indirect reply to her followers, writing, “I'm not a politician...rules are different...simple as that. If she wants that freedom...she's not a celeb...she's a councillor…".
Loose Women is on ITV at 12.30pm weekdays