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Rayner will ‘do right thing and step down’ if found to have committed crime

12 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Angela Rayner.Photo Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

Angela Rayner has said she will “do the right thing and step down” if she is found to have committed a crime as police investigate claims that she may have broken electoral law.

But the deputy Labour leader said she was confident she had “followed the rules at all times” after Conservative Party deputy chairman James Daly suggested she may have given false information about her main residence.

The party has been dogged in recent weeks by Tory accusations over Ms Rayner’s living situation.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) previously said it would not be investigating the allegations, but following a complaint from Mr Daly, the force confirmed it had reassessed information and launched a probe.

Confident

In a statement on Friday, Ms Rayner said: “I’ve repeatedly said I would welcome the chance to sit down with the appropriate authorities, including the police and HMRC, to set out the facts and draw a line under this matter. I am completely confident I’ve followed the rules at all times.

“I have always said that integrity and accountability are important in politics. That’s why it’s important that this is urgently looked at, independently and without political interference.

“I make no apologies for having held Conservative ministers to account in the past. Indeed, the public would rightly expect me to do so as a Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

“We have seen the Tory Party use this playbook before – reporting political opponents to the police during election campaigns to distract from their record. I will say as I did before – if I committed a criminal offence, I would of course do the right thing and step down. The British public deserves politicians who know the rules apply to them.

“The questions raised relate to a time before I was an MP and I have set out my family’s circumstances and taken expert tax and legal advice. I look forward to setting out the facts with the relevant authorities at the earliest opportunity.”

Scrutiny

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomed the police investigation into Ms Rayner’s council house sale and said he had “full confidence” that she had not broken the rules.

His deputy has faced scrutiny about whether she paid the right amount of tax on the 2015 sale of her council house because of confusion over whether it was her principal residence.

Ms Rayner has rejected 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 she bought her former council house, in Vicarage Road in Stockport, Greater Manchester, with a 25% discount in 2007 under the right-to-buy scheme.

The former carer is said to have made a £48,500 profit when selling the house eight years later.

Government guidance says that a tenant can apply to buy their council home through the right-to-buy scheme if it is their “only or main home”.

Her 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 insisted that Vicarage Road was her “principal property” despite her husband living elsewhere at the time.

But neighbours have reportedly disputed her claim that she lived apart from her husband.

Sir Keir has previously said the Conservatives are “chasing a smear” in raising questions about the deputy leader and people were more interested in “problems caused by this Government”.


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Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Is resignation the ” right thing to do “? After watching the Torys behaviour for the last 14 years, I thought the action to take would be, deny everything, then lie about it, then brazen it out when allegations are proven, wait for the whip to be removed, then refuse to resign and sit as a independent. It works for the Tory party.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gareth
Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

Nadhim Zahawi paid a reported £4.8 million plus penalties to settle an HMRC investigation into the sale of shares (BBC report), Angela Rayner sells an ex-council house and may have omitted a few hundred pounds of tax. The tax system is complicated and at worst they made careless errors, even Zahawi. But which error is more relateable and could have been committed by millions of people. I was impressed with a conversation she had with Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell on Rest is Politics, well worth your time.She may be chalk and cheese for many but she has not had… Read more »

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
1 month ago

If she did step down it would be an injustice! This was HOW many years ago? She is one of the few Labour MPs who actually understands the lives of ordinary folk, Should not be allowed to be hounded out by the ‘posh hoi poloi In the Tory Party. Who have FAR worse misdemeanors in their Ranks INCLUDING the profiteering by the PM and his Family! Anything to distract attention from them , however low they have to sink, aided and abetted by our biased Right wing Media who lok down their noses at working class successes like the lovely… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Shhhh. Don’t mention Honey trap.
Shhhh. Don’t mention Party gate.
Shhhh. Don’t mention Johnson 800k loan (security risk with massive bells on). How did Mr Sharp get his job?
Shhh. Don’t mention Braverman jumping before sacked for security breaches then re employed by Sunak.
Shhhh. Don’t mention Patterson.
Shhhh. Dont mention pincher.
Lots of Shhhh to be covered up.
How did Ashcroft manage his non dom with Lordship? Must be nice to be able to afford to pay less taxes than the rest of us mortals. Oh yeah, shhhh, Ashcroft….

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