Angela Rayner 'set to be interviewed under caution by police investigating council tax allegation'

Angela Rayner 'set to be interviewed under caution by police investigating council tax allegation'

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner is reportedly set to be interviewed under caution by police investigating her tax controversy.

Greater Manchester Police is investigating Ms Rayner amid a furore over whether she paid the correct capital gains tax on the sale of a house in 2015, and claims over where she was registered to vote.

The force launched the inquiry last month after repeatedly being pressed by a senior Tory MP to do so.

The Sun on Sunday reports police have now contacted Ms Rayner to arrange a date for her to be questioned by officers.

The Ashton-under-Lyne MP is likely to be interviewed under caution, rather than being arrested, it reports.

A source told the newspaper: “There is a lot of information already in the public domain so there is no need to be heavy-handed.

“The police are more interested in gathering all the information they can, and having Angela come in and speak to them.

“They will then take a view on where the investigation goes from there once they have assessed the evidence.”

The interview is expected to take place in coming weeks and will likely take place at a local police station in Manchester, The Telegraph reported.

Ms Rayner is expected to be questioned over claims she breached electoral law, and failed to pay capital gain tax on the sale of a house in 2015.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with his deputy Angela Rayner (Getty Images)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with his deputy Angela Rayner (Getty Images)

The Sun on Sunday reports she will also be quizzed over whether she falsely received a single-occupancy discount on council tax.

Ms Rayner denies any wrongdoing and the exact details of what the police are investigating has not been made public.

The Times previously claimed around a dozen officers were examining tax matters and whether Ms Rayner gave false information for the electoral register when she lived between two houses in Stockport, after getting married.

The deputy Labour leader, who is also shadow housing secretary, has said she would “do the right thing and step down” if she is found to have committed a crime.

In a statement she previously 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.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has stood by her.

Before being elected to Parliament, Ms Rayner is understood to have used Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme in January 2007 to buy her former council home in Vicarage Road, Stockport.

In September 2010, she married Mark Rayner and the couple re-registered the births of their two sons that year, providing Mr Rayner’s address in nearby Lowndes Lane.

But Ms Rayner, then a union official, is understood to have remained on the electoral roll at Vicarage Road until 2015, when she sold the house at a profit, thought to be of £48,500.

She has faced repeated questions from the Tories over whether she should have paid capital gains tax on the 2015 sale of her home, whether it was her principal residence or not, and if she made a false declaration about where she was living on the electoral register.

But prosecutions for providing a false address on the electoral roll, under the Representation of the People Act, have a time limit of two years after the alleged offence.

Ms Rayner has been approached by the Standard.