Police abandon investigation into Angela Rayner over municipal house dispute

Angela Rayner has been vindicated, Sir Keir Starmer said on Tuesday after police dropped an investigation into Tory allegations about her council house.

After months of investigation, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the party’s deputy leader will not face further action over allegations she breached electoral law over her living situation a decade ago.

He welcomed the news but attributed the saga to “desperate tactics” by the Conservatives.

It was another big boost for the Labor Party as the general election campaign entered its sixth full day, with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves vowing to “run the most pro-growth, most pro-business Treasury our country has ever seen”.

As Labor positioned itself as the business party, Rishi Sunak’s “triple lock plus” promise to pensioners was dismissed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies as a reversal of the Conservatives’ own fiscal policy.

The investigation into Ms Rayner followed a complaint by Conservative deputy chairman James Daly about the 2015 sale of her council house in Stockport and whether she had given false information about her main address during the 2010s.

Keir Starmer said Angela Rayner 'has been vindicated'
Keir Starmer said Angela Rayner ‘has been vindicated’ (getty )

He had faced accusations that he had breached electoral law, failed to pay capital gains tax and falsely received a council tax discount for individual homes. But Stockport Council also said on Tuesday it would take no action.

Ms Rayner had promised to resign if she was found to have committed a crime.

A GMP spokesperson said the force had “completed a thorough, carefully considered and proportionate investigation”, adding: “We have concluded that no further police action will be taken.”

HM Revenue and Customs did not comment on individual cases but is understood to have already investigated the matter at Ms Rayner’s request and concluded there was no capital gains tax liability.

Labor leader Sir Keir said Ms Rayner “has been vindicated”, adding: “I never doubted that Angela had done nothing wrong and now the police have cleared her.”

Ms Rayner said she was “grateful to all those who stood by me and supported me and my family”. She issued a statement saying: “We have seen the Conservative Party use this playbook before – reporting political opponents to the police during election campaigns to distract from their terrible record.”

“The public is fed up with these desperate tactics from a Conservative government that has nothing more to say after 14 years of failure.”

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting previously criticized Ms Rayner’s treatment. Speaking exclusively with The independentShe said the whole saga made her “blood boil” and accused critics of attacking her because “it’s a working-class success story.”

Questions about Ms Rayner’s living conditions first arose following the publication of an unauthorized biography of former Conservative vice-president Lord Ashcroft.

In the book, the pair wrote that the Ashton-under-Lyne MP bought her former council house in Vicarage Road, Stockport in 2007 under the right to buy scheme. Her then-husband was listed at another address about a mile away, which was also purchased under the scheme.

Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer speak to the media on the first day of campaigning for the 2024 general election
Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer speak to the media on the first day of campaigning for the 2024 general election (getty )

It was reported that in the same year as her wedding, Mrs Rayner re-registered the births of her two youngest children, listing their address as the house in which her husband resided. Mrs Rayner has insisted that Vicarage Road was her “principal property” even though her husband was living elsewhere at the time.

He has faced questions about whether he should have paid capital gains tax when his house was sold and whether he paid the correct amount of council tax, while Daly alleged he may have made a false declaration about where he lived on the electoral register. . .

A Labor Party spokesperson said: “Police have completed their investigation into the claims made by the Conservative Party vice-chairman and have concluded that no further action will be taken. Angela cooperated fully with the police investigation at all times.

MP James Daly had alleged Ms Rayner may have made a false statement in the electoral register about where she lived.
MP James Daly had alleged Ms Rayner may have made a false statement in the electoral register about where she lived. (Pennsylvania )

“Angela has always been clear that she was not subject to capital gains tax on the sale of the house she owned before becoming an MP, that she was properly registered to vote and paid the relevant council tax. She turned to expert tax and legal advice that confirms this.

“This puts an end to the matter.”

The Conservatives said Ms Rayner “has still not given an explanation” in the dispute over her living arrangements.

A spokesman said: “As tax expert and Labor Party member Dan Neidle has said, Rayner has not yet given an explanation. “Sir Keir Starmer could easily clear this up by simply reading and then publishing the tax notice that Labor claims he will exonerate his criticized MP.”