Manchester police reviewing Angela Rayner council house claims

Police are reviewing claims that Angela Rayner may have broken electoral law in the early 2010s when she lived between two council houses in Stockport.

On Monday the police confirmed that a detective chief inspector had been assigned to reconsider the case, just days after Ms Rayner accused the Conservative party of attempting to “smear” her and insisted that controversy about her tax affairs was “manufactured”.

Police had originally said that Ms Rayner would not face an investigation over claims she gave false information about where she was living for the electoral roll, but have now confirmed in a letter to deputy Tory party chairman James Daly that they will “review the circumstances”, according to the Times.

Mr Daly, the MP for Bury North, said Greater Manchester police had failed to properly investigate claims the Labour deputy leader may have broken the law.

The original investigation was triggered by former Conservative party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft, who suggested that she failed to properly declare her main residency in his book Red Queen? The Unauthorised Biography of Angela Rayner, leading some to suggest that Ms Rayner may owe capital gains tax on the sale of her property.

Deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner (PA) (PA Wire)
Deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner (PA) (PA Wire)

Government guidance says tenants can apply to buy their council home through the right-to-buy scheme if it is their “only or main home”.

HMRC rules state married couples or civil partners can only count one property as their primary residence.

Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Police said there was no evidence that Ms Rayner had committed any offence after Mr Daly had asked them to investigate if she had given false information.

According to the Times newspaper Cheryl Hughes, a detective chief inspector at Greater Manchester police, wrote to Mr Daly 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.

“Following receipt of your recent 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.”

The Labour MP has staunchly defended her actions and insisted that there had been “no unlawfulness”.

She told BBC Newsnight: “I’ve been very clear there’s no rules broken. They [the Conservatives] tried to manufacture a police investigation … I got tax advice which says there was no capital gains tax. It’s a non-story manufactured to try and smear me.”

Ms Rayner has maintained that she formally lived apart from her husband for the first five years of their marriage between 2010 and 2015.

Greater Manchester police have been approached for comment.