Angela Rayner slams 'desperate tactics' by Tories after police drop probe into living arrangements

-Credit: (Image: Daily Mirror)
-Credit: (Image: Daily Mirror)


Angela Rayner has hit out at the "desperate tactics" by the Tories after police said they would take no further action following an investigation into her living arrangements prompted by a senior Conservative.

The deputy Labour leader had faced claims she may have broken electoral law and dodged capital gains tax and council tax because of the way she and her then husband used separate homes. But Greater Manchester Police and Stockport Council both confirmed they would take no further action against the Ashton-under-Lyne MP.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "Following allegations about Angela Rayner MP, Greater Manchester Police has completed a thorough, carefully considered and proportionate investigation. We have concluded that no further police action will be taken."

The police investigation was triggered by a complaint from Tory deputy chairman James Daly. Ms Rayner said: "I welcome the conclusion of the police investigation, and confirmation that no further action will be taken.

"We have seen the Conservative Party use this playbook before - reporting political opponents to the police during election campaigns to distract from their dire record. The public have had enough of these desperate tactics from a Tory government with nothing else to say after 14 years of failure.

Deputy Leader Angela Rayner and Labour Leader Keir Starmer speak to the media
Deputy Leader Angela Rayner and Labour Leader Keir Starmer speak to the media -Credit:Getty Images

"I am grateful to all those who have stood by and supported me and my family. My focus now is squarely on securing the change Britain needs, with the election of a Labour government."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Ms Rayner "has been vindicated". I never doubted that Angela hadn't done anything wrong and now she's been cleared by the police," he told reporters on the General Election campaign trail.

The police said matters involving tax did not fall within their jurisdiction but they had shared information with Stockport Council and HM Revenue and Customs. Stockport Council said it had reviewed the information and also concluded that no further action will be taken.

HMRC would not comment on an individual's tax affairs, but it is understood they had already looked into the matter at Ms Rayner's request and concluded there was no capital gains tax liability. Questions about Ms Rayner's living arrangements surfaced after suggestions in a book by former Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft that she failed to properly declare her main home.

The unauthorised biography alleges that the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne bought her former council house, in Vicarage Road in Stockport, Greater Manchester in 2007, under the right-to-buy scheme. Her then husband was listed at another address in Lowndes Lane, about a mile away, which had also been bought under the right-to-buy scheme.

In the same year as her wedding, Ms Rayner is said to have re-registered the births of her two youngest children, giving her address as where her husband resided. Ms Rayner has said that Vicarage Road was her "principal property" despite her husband living elsewhere at the time.

In 2015, Ms Rayner sold the property, making a £48,500 profit. Couples can normally only count one property as their main home for capital gains tax purposes, prompting questions over whether she should have paid it. Mr Daly is thought to have alleged she may have made a false declaration about where she was living on the electoral register.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said: "Greater Manchester Police have said they've passed the findings of their investigation into Angela Rayner to HMRC, who do not comment on their tax probes.

"As the tax expert and Labour Party member Dan Neidle has said, Rayner still hasn't provided an explanation. Sir Keir Starmer could easily clear this up by simply reading and then publishing the tax advice Labour claims will exonerate his under-fire deputy."

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