Who could be investigating Angela Rayner – and for what?

Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader
Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader, has denied wrongdoing - Stefan Rousseau/PA

The row over whether Angela Rayner owes tax, what house she was living in, and what home she registered to vote at, is complicated.

Who is responsible for investigating each of the allegations against her is also not straightforward.

The council, the police and HMRC all have the potential to look at claims against her. We explain the allegations, and who is likely to investigate.

Council tax

Stockport council is understood to have been assessing correspondence received from James Daly, the Conservative Party deputy chairman, about what Ms Rayner’s council tax arrangements were.

It is understood to be reviewing whether she claimed a single person’s council tax discount on her council house property on Vicarage Road while allowing her brother to live there.

Ms Rayner claims that she was living at the Vicarage Road house, separately from her husband.

However, neighbours have said her brother was living at the Vicarage Road property and she was living with her husband at his house on nearby Lowndes Lane.

In a letter to the council, Mr Daly asked whether, if her brother was living at the property with her, and she was claiming the 25 per cent single person discount, that could amount to council tax fraud, which can incur both criminal and civil penalties.

Vicarage Road, Stockport in Greater Manchester, where Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader, bought a house
Vicarage Road, Stockport, where Angela Rayner bought a house - Ryan Jenkinson/Story Picture Agency

He said the single-person discount can only be claimed for someone’s sole or main residence, adding that there can only be one adult resident in the dwelling.

It also raises the prospect that if Mark Rayner, Ms Rayner’s then-husband, was claiming the discount at his Lowndes Lane home, but she was living with him, they would not have been entitled to the discount.

It is not known whether any of the family claimed the discount.

The council has not confirmed whether it has given any documents to the police to assist their investigation. Council tax fraud is a criminal offence.

It is a criminal offence to make a false statement in order to get a reduction, discount or exemption that you would not otherwise be entitled to and it is understood this is one of a number of claims against Ms Rayner being looked at by police.

Capital gains tax

There is also the potential problem of capital gains tax for Ms Rayner.

In March 2015, she sold her property on Vicarage Road for £127,500.

If it was her primary address, where she lived most of the time, she would have been exempt from a capital gains tax on the sale.

It later emerged that Ms Rayner may in fact have been living with her husband on Lowndes Lane.

If that was the case, she may not have been entitled to the exemption, and could potentially owe tax of up to £3,500.

It is thought unlikely that it would be a criminal matter and HMRC would instead take the lead chasing any potential owed money.

Electoral fraud

If Ms Rayner did live at her husband’s house, she may also have committed electoral fraud as she was registered to vote at her own home.

Under electoral rules, voters are expected to register at their permanent address.

Any allegation of electoral fraud would be investigated by the police as it is a criminal matter.