Angela Rayner accuses Tories of 'desperate tactics' after being cleared by police over council house row

Angela Rayner accuses Tories of 'desperate tactics' after being cleared by police over council house row

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said she welcomed the announcement that “no further police action” will be taken over allegations she broke electoral law.

She 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.

But a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said matters involving council tax did not fall into its jurisdiction but details of its “thorough” investigation have been shared with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Ms Rayner accused her opponents of using the allegations to “distract from their dire record”.

She 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.

“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.”

She spoke out the police said it had “completed a thorough, carefully considered and proportionate investigation”, adding: “We have concluded that no further police action will be taken.”

They said: “The investigation originated from complaints made by Mr James Daly MP directly to GMP. Subsequent further contact with GMP by members of the public, and claims made by individuals featured in media reporting, indicated a strong public interest in the need for allegations to be investigated.

“Matters involving council tax and personal tax do not fall into the jurisdiction of policing. GMP has liaised with Stockport Council and information about our investigation has been shared with them. Details of our investigation have also been shared with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).”

Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer (REUTERS)
Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer (REUTERS)

Rayner has played a prominent part in Labour’s campaigning since the election was called.

A party spokesperson said: “The police have now completed their investigation into claims made by the Conservative Party Deputy Chairman and have concluded that no further action will be taken.

“Angela cooperated fully with the police investigation throughout.

“Angela has always been clear that she was not liable for capital gains tax on the sale of the home she owned before she was an MP, that she was properly registered to vote, and paid the appropriate council tax. She took expert tax and legal advice which confirms this.

“This draws a line under the matter.”

A spokesperson for Stockport Council said: “Stockport Council has reviewed and responded to all correspondence relating to this matter, including information received from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) who have concluded that no further police action will be taken.

“We have also concluded that no further action will be taken on behalf of the council.”

Sir Keir Starmer said he was pleased his deputy “has been vindicated” after police and Stockport Council said they would take no further action.

The Labour leader told reporters during a campaign visit to Stevenage: “I’m obviously pleased that they’ve come to a conclusion.

“I never doubted that Angela hadn’t done anything wrong and now she’s been cleared by the police.

“And that means that Angela can be campaigning with us. This is an important moment for the country. This is an election that is all about change, turning our back on 14 years of chaos and division, turning the page and rebuilding our country with Labour.

“So I’m really pleased that Angela has been vindicated. I always had confidence in her.

“And now even more than ever, we are out there on the campaign trail, enjoying taking our argument to the country.”