Angela Rayner: Police reveal investigation into council house row

Angela Rayner: Police reveal investigation into council house row

11:54 AM, 12th April 2024, About 2 months ago 27

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Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has revealed that investigations are underway into Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, following allegations of electoral law breaches.

The police had previously dismissed the need for an inquiry into accusations that she had given false address information.

But a report in The Times yesterday revealed that police had still not spoken with neighbours over Ms Rayner’s version of events over where she was living.

The focus of the police investigation is whether Ms Rayner registered an incorrect property on the electoral roll.

This inquiry is separate from any potential tax law violations, which would fall under the jurisdiction of HMRC.

Police investigation into Ms Rayner

The reopening of the police investigation into Ms Rayner follows a complaint by James Daly, deputy chairman of the Tory party.

A GMP spokesperson said: “We’re investigating whether any offences have been committed. This follows a reassessment of the information provided to us by Mr Daly.”

Ms Rayner has denied any wrongdoing and has received support from Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer.

A Labour spokesperson said: “Angela welcomes the chance to set out the facts with the police.

“We remain completely confident that Angela has complied with the rules at all times and it’s now appropriate to let the police do its work.”

May have avoided capital gains tax

The initial accusation came from an unauthorised biography of Ms Rayner by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft which suggested that she may have avoided capital gains tax when selling her former council house in 2015.

That property was registered as her main address on the electoral roll.

But that raised questions about her living arrangements, particularly after the re-registration of her two youngest children’s births.

They were registered at her husband’s separate address shortly after their marriage in 2010.

Ms Rayner has stated that she consulted with tax experts to ensure she did not owe tax but has chosen not to publish the advice she received.

Mr Starmer has backed her, stating he does not need to see the tax advice and accusing the Tories of ‘chasing a smear’ against her.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this week called for both Mr Starmer and Ms Rayner to provide ‘straight’ answers about her tax affairs.

He said that many people, including the deputy Labour leader, had asked him ‘lots of questions’ about his tax affairs.

Grant Shapps levels ‘double standards’ charge at Ms Rayner

The defence secretary Grant Shapps has levelled a charge of ‘double standards’ at Angela Rayner, expressing his approval of the police inquiry into the Labour deputy leader.

He pointed out that Ms Rayner has ‘spent her political career calling people out’ and insisted on transparency – yet she has not demonstrated the same level of openness in relation to the allegations against her.

Despite her previous insistence that a Tory candidate disclose their tax return, Ms Rayner has declined to make public the tax advice she obtained regarding the sale of her council house.

Speaking to the media this morning, Mr Shapps said: “I think the double standards have been extraordinary.

“Angela Rayner herself has spent her political career calling people out for exactly the thing that she seems to be doing now.

“It’s not acceptable to ignore it, and it’s not acceptable for Keir Starmer to say he won’t even read reports into it.

“This is something which is a serious matter. It’s important that it’s looked into properly and I welcome the idea that the police are doing that.”

Starmer says police investigation will bring closure

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has stated that the police investigation into Angela Rayner’s council house sale will enable closure on the issue.

He expressed his full confidence that Ms Rayner had not violated any rules.

Mr Starmer said: “We welcome this investigation because it will allow a line to be drawn in relation to this matter.

“I am fully confident that Angela Rayner has not broken the rules.

“She will cooperate with the investigation as you would expect, and it is really a matter for the police.”

Sadiq Khan and Ed Miliband rally behind Angela Rayner

London mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed his full confidence in 0Angela Rayner, whom he refers to as his ‘best friend’, and that she will be exonerated in a police investigation.

Mr Khan said: “I’m fully confident in Angela, she’s one of my best friends and I’m sure she’ll be cleared.”

Echoing this sentiment, Ed Miliband, the shadow energy minister, said: “We are absolutely 100% behind Angela.

“We are absolutely confident that she has complied with the rules.”

What are the consequences of breaking electoral law?

If an individual declines to provide information to an Electoral Registration Officer, or provides incorrect information, specific penalties may be enforced.

The rules specify that any individual who does not comply or provides incorrect information may be subject to a summary conviction and a fine not exceeding £1,000.

In cases where the offence is not considered severe enough for a criminal conviction, civil penalties may also be levied.


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Comments

Reluctant Landlord

12:44 PM, 12th April 2024, About 2 months ago

keep it up - keep this in the news!

Stella

16:35 PM, 12th April 2024, About 2 months ago

So Mr Starmer is not giving her his 100% backing.
METHINKS that he may not be so sure after all.

HouseBuyer

19:23 PM, 12th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I'm confused. None of the current discussions around this issue appear to mention the rule that a married couple cannot have two principal residences, so after her marriage in 2010, both her and her husband must have nominated the same property.

I was in exactly this situation some 20 years ago when myself and my wife lived in a property we owned in London during the week and a house in Derbyshire at weekends. We both nominated the Derbyshire house as that's where all our correspondence, electoral roll registration was and as a result we will be liable for higher CGT when we finally sell the London property (it has since been rented for many years).

Surely this is the main issue - that AR could not have a separate PPR to her husband, irrespective of where she actually lived.

Another landlord

23:13 PM, 12th April 2024, About 2 months ago

A few further points of clarification could reasonably be asked:

1) If not her main residence and her brother paid rent then was that declared as income on her tax returns? Even if he was a lodger was rent a room scheme claimed? Did the rent exceed the allowance.
2) Was the mortgage company informed if required?
3) Was any single person (or other) council tax discount claimed on either property?
4) If rented out did it have an EPC required from 2008?
5) Did it have a landlord gas safety certificate required from 1998 if required?
6) Did she take any form of deposit and if so was it protected within a government scheme as required from 2012?
7) When she wanted her brother to leave so she could sell again assuming an AST had been implicitly created what grounds did she give him notice unless he chose to leave and give her notice. S21 perhaps?
8) Did she claim any means tested benefits that maybe if all income declared she was not entitled to?
9) Did she receive child benefit post 2013 and at any time would additional undeclared income mean that the HICBC should have been paid?

Zen

7:44 AM, 13th April 2024, About 2 months ago

But there is more to it than that, there's a long list of wrong doing:

- not paying capital gains £1,500???
- not paying tax on rental income £2,400??? (I'm guessing say £500 rent for 2 years at 20%)
- signing a contract with the council saying that she'll live there for 5yrs but she doesn't (this seems to have been forgotten) £??? surely she should pay back the discount she got on the value of the house when she bought it
- if she didn't pay tax then I doubt she had the right certificates - fines £???
- electoral role, they're looking into
- only being allowed one nominated address

There must be consequences for each of these. The authorities can't show any favouritism just because she's a politician. Each and every one must be investigated and she should pay back what she owes.

JC

8:24 AM, 13th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Ok let’s simplify this.
100% she is guilty of tax avoidance.
100% she is guilty of false representation.
100% she is guilty of having an illegal tenancy.
She is probably also guilty of lying to her mortgage company and having a residential mortgage instead or a buy to let mortgage.
Will she be prosecuted for any of these crimes?
Probably not.
Such is the world we currently reside in unfortunately.

Crouchender

8:27 AM, 13th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Zen at 13/04/2024 - 07:44
The police let Starmer off the hook with Beergate during lockdown so I can see Rayner being let off the hook too.

Ideally the council should be doing its own investigation on council tax and HMRC on tax but alas the council prefer to chase LLs with selective license and fine during inspections for minor things and HMRC only goes for low hanging fruit not the Covid loan fraudsters.

Crouchender

9:27 AM, 13th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Another landlord at 12/04/2024 - 23:13
Very good points but as I said she may get off based on some 'technicalities'. However Starmer will probably remove housing from her remit before the election as when they are in power this 'CGTgate' won't go away and will set dominate any PRS discussions had with her in the media. Afterall she would have been a Landlord! Accidental of course!

Stella

10:45 AM, 13th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by JC at 13/04/2024 - 08:24
I think you are correct and I would be surprised if she is prosecuted. Why did the police not investigate it properly when this came to light, they are only now investigating it because they have been forced to do so.
We also have Mr Burnham as mayor of Manchester.

Liam

16:28 PM, 13th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I think, regardless of the ins and outs, if she is guilty the punishment should be adequate and seen as landlords are fined many thousands for trivial matters perhaps the death penalty? Especially for someone who holds the office she does.

This is said in jest, however, I think anything less than a prison term is unjust on the landlords who have been handed ridiculously large fines for simple oversight.

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