‘I’m not ashamed’: Angela Rayner hits back after being branded ‘hypocrite’ over council house sale

Labour deputy leader has been criticised for turning a £48,500 profit on a former council house in Stockport

Archie Mitchell
Sunday 25 February 2024 13:39 GMT
Angela Rayner defends calling Tory MPs 'scum'

Angela Rayner has hit back at criticism over the sale of a former council house she bought under the right-to-buy policy, declaring: “I am not ashamed.”

The Labour deputy leader was criticised for turning a £48,500 profit on the property in Stockport, Greater Manchester, which she bought in 2007 with a 25 per cent discount.

She has previously criticised those who are able to secure “loads and loads of discount” when purchasing properties under Margaret Thatcher’s right-to-buy scheme.

After the revelation, in a new book by billionaire Conservative peer Michael Ashcroft, Tory MPs accused Ms Rayner of wanting to “pull up the ladder” on other council tenants who want to buy their own homes.

Angela Rayner said it is ‘clear that Lord Ashcroft and his friends take an unhealthy interest in my family’ (PA Wire)

A report on the front page of The Mail on Sunday, which is serialising the book, also questioned Ms Rayner’s living arrangements in the years that followed her 2010 marriage to Mark Rayner.

Ms Rayner hit back at what she called Lord Ashcroft’s “unhealthy interest” in her family life. She also accused the former Tory deputy chair of wanting to “kick down at people like me who graft hard in tough circumstances to get on in life”.

And Ms Rayner, who is also Labour’s shadow housing secretary, defended the party’s policies, saying that “those who live in a council house should have the opportunity to own their own home”.

“We’ve said we’ll review the unfair additional market discounts of up to 60 per cent the Tories introduced in 2012, long after I was able to exercise the right to buy (25 per cent) under the old system,” Ms Rayner said. “That’s not hypocrisy, it’s the right thing to do.”

Michael Ashcroft’s book reveals that Rayner turned a £48,500 profit on the sale of a former council house in Stockport (Getty Europe)

In a defiant post on X, formerly Twitter, Ms Rayner added: “Being able to buy my council house back in 2007 was a proud moment for me. I worked hard, saved and bought it by the book.

“I’m not ashamed – but I am angry that the Tories have since put the dream of a secure home out of reach for so many others.

“It’s clear that Lord Ashcroft and his friends not only take an unhealthy interest in my family – but want to kick down at people like me who graft hard in tough circumstances to get on in life. I won’t let them.”

It is only Ms Rayner’s latest brush with The Mail on Sunday, which two years ago published a sexist article about the Labour deputy supposedly trying to “distract” Boris Johnson by crossing and uncrossing her legs in the chamber.

The article led to the speaker of the House of Commons summoning the editor of the paper to “discuss the issue affecting our parliamentary community”.

Ms Rayner is an outspoken left-winger and has long been a target of often sexist abuse from the right.

Born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in 1980, she was raised on a council estate by her mother Lynn, who struggled with depression and could not read or write. From a young age, the MP acted as a carer for her mother, at times having to bathe and feed her.

And Ms Rayner has spoken movingly about being told she would “never amount to anything” after becoming pregnant at 16 and leaving school without any qualifications.

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