Angela Rayner ‘cleared by HMRC’ over council house row

Deputy Labour leader had faced claims she may have dodged capital gains tax and council tax

Tara Cobham
Wednesday 29 May 2024 23:34 BST
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Tory MP’s blunt response when asked to apologise to Angela Rayner over council house investigation

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will take no further action against Angela Rayner following investigations into her living arrangements a decade ago prompted by Tory allegations, it was reported on Wednesday night.

The deputy Labour leader had faced claims she may have broken electoral law and dodged capital gains tax and council tax over the 2015 sale of her council house in Stockport, and whether she had provided false information about her main address during the 2010s.

However, HMRC said on Wednesday that the Ashton-under-Lyne MP oweed no capital gains tax for the sale, according to a document seen by the Guardian.

Following a consideration of the evidence two weeks ago, the tax authority concluded the house was Ms Rayner’s principal residence the entire time she owned it, which meant that no tax would be due.

It comes after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Stockport Council both confirmed on Tuesday that they would also be taking no further action against Ms Rayner after investigations that followed a complaint from Conservative deputy chairman James Daly.

The force said it had shared details of its investigation with HMRC because tax falls out of its jurisdiction. While the tax body said it would not comment on individual cases, the Guardian has now reported an HMRC document found “no capital gains tax is due” on the sale of Ms Rayner’s home and showed the case was concluded.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will reportedly take no further action against Angela Rayner following investigations into her living arrangements a decade ago prompted by Tory allegations
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will reportedly take no further action against Angela Rayner following investigations into her living arrangements a decade ago prompted by Tory allegations (PA Wire)

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

Ms Rayner, who had promised to resign if she was found to have committed a crime, welcomed the news the police probe had been dropped, blaming the saga on “desperate tactics” by the Tories.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his deputy “has been vindicated,” adding: “I never doubted that Angela hadn’t done anything wrong and now she’s been cleared by the police.”

A spokesperson for Stockport Council said it had reviewed the information and concluded: “No further action will be taken on behalf of the council.”

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting previously hit out at the treatment of Ms Rayner. Speaking exclusively to The Independent, he said the whole saga made his “blood boil” and accused critics of attacking her because “she is a working class success story”.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer on the general election campaign trail on Wednesday
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer on the general election campaign trail on Wednesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Questions about Ms Rayner’s living arrangements first surfaced following the publication of an unauthorised biography by former Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft.

A Labour Party spokesperson said on Tuesday: “The police have now completed their investigation into claims made by the Conservative Party deputy chairman and have concluded that no further action will be taken. Angela cooperated fully with the police investigation throughout.

“Angela has always been clear that she was not liable for capital gains tax on the sale of the home she owned before she was an MP, that she was properly registered to vote, and paid the appropriate council tax. She took expert tax and legal advice which confirms this.

“This draws a line under the matter.”

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