Angela Rayner Says She Will 'Step Down' If She Committed A Crime Amid Council House Row

Deputy Labour leader faces a police investigation after a complaint from a senior Tory.
Angela Rayner, deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
Angela Rayner, deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
via Associated Press

Angela Rayner has said she will “step down” as Labour deputy leader if she committed a crime as the police probes claims made over an ex-council house she sold almost a decade ago.

On Friday, Greater Manchester Police said it was investigating whether the MP broke electoral law after being accused of providing the wrong information about her living arrangements.

The police inquiry was launched following a complaint from deputy Tory chairman James Daly.

In response, Rayner issued a statement saying: “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.”

A spokesperson for GMP said on Friday: “We’re investigating whether any offences have been committed.

“This follows a reassessment of the information provided to us by Mr Daly.”

In 2010, after she got married, Rayner lived in an ex-council house in Stockport that she had bought in 2007.

According to a biography of Rayner by former Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft, she was registered on the electoral roll as living at the same address until she sold the property in 2015.

However, she is accused of actually living at her husband’s house nearby, leading to claims that the profit she made on her property should have been subject to capital gains tax.

The force had previously said it would not launch an inquiry into the allegations.

Keir Starmer has accused the Conservatives of trying to “smear” his deputy with the allegations.


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