Angela Rayner refuses to publish tax records as police probe house sale

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Angela Rayner, deputy leader of Britain’s Labour party, has refused to publish the tax advice she received in relation to the sale of a house over a decade ago — saying she would only do so if Tory MPs published full details of their own finances.

“You show me yours, I’ll show you mine,” she declared on Thursday.

Police are re-examining claims that Rayner may have broken electoral law more than a decade ago when she lived between two council houses in Stockport. 

At the heart of the allegations, first made in a biography by former Conservative deputy chair Lord Ashcroft — and serialised in the Mail on Sunday newspaper — are questions over her living arrangements in the early 2010s. 

It was claimed that Rayner bought her former council house on Stockport’s Vicarage Road with a 25 per cent discount in 2007, making a profit when she sold it at the market rate eight years later. Because she was registered to vote at the property, it meant she would not have been liable to pay any capital gains tax on the profit. 

Yet there have been claims that she may have been living primarily at another property at Lowndes Lane, the address of her then husband, and that it was her brother occupying the property on Vicarage Road. 

Dan Neidle, a tax expert, has estimated that Rayner could have been liable for a capital gains tax bill of £1,500. However, that may not have been the case if she had spent more than £15,000 on home improvements on Vicarage Road or if she had jointly nominated that property with her husband as their main residence.

Speaking on Thursday, Rayner repeated her claim that she had had legal and tax advice that showed she had not dodged the payment of any capital gains tax. 

“I’ve done nothing wrong . . . I’ve got my advice. I’m not going to lie about my tax advice, that would be ridiculous,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “I’m not going to put out all of my personal details for the last 15 years about my family,” she added.

She said she would be prepared to hand over that information, if necessary, to either HM Revenue & Customs or the police. 

But she insisted she would not make public her personal tax information if other MPs did not. “If we are going to have a level playing field, then you show me yours, I’ll show you mine,” she said.

“If the deputy [Conservative] chair and others, and Rishi Sunak, and Jeremy Hunt, if they all want to say ‘I’ll give you the last 15 years of my tax details’ I’m happy to disclose all of mine at the same time.”

Rayner has previously said that the row was manufactured in an attempt to “smear” her ahead of a likely Labour general election victory this year. 

James Daly, a Conservative deputy chair, had complained that Greater Manchester police failed to properly investigate claims that Rayner may have broken the law by giving false information about where she was living to the electoral roll. 

On March 12 the police force said Rayner would not face an investigation. But after Daly complained, the police have now said they will take another look at the claims. 

Cheryl Hughes, a detective chief inspector at Greater Manchester police, wrote to the MP on Monday. “I have read your letter outlining your concern over the lack of investigation into the matters you raised in your initial complaints to GMP on the 25th February regarding Angela Rayner MP,” she said.

“Following receipt of your letter dated 13th March 2024, I have been requested to review the circumstances you have outlined to reassess our decision around an investigation. I will update with the outcome.”

Via

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