Angela Rayner will not publish 'personal tax advice' over council house sale - unless Tories do the same

by 24britishtvMarch 28, 2024, 10 a.m. 19
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Angela Rayner has said she will not publish the "personal tax advice" she received on the sale of her council house despite a police development over her living arrangements.

Labour's deputy leader told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she was "confident" she had done "absolutely nothing wrong" with regards to the sale of her council house and whether she should have paid capital gains tax on it.

Ms Rayner said she had been "very clear on my advice that I've received" - but asked why she would not put that legal advice into the public domain, she said: "Because that's my personal tax advice. But I'm happy to comply with the necessary authorities that want to see that."

She went on to say that while she was willing to hand over the information to the police and HMRC, "I'm not going to put out all of my personal details for the last 15 years about my family".

When pressed further on why she would not publish the advice - and whether she would accept the same reasoning from a Conservative politician - Ms Rayner suggested she would be willing to do if her Tory critics did the same.

"If we're all going to have a level playing field and we suddenly decide that Conservative ministers need to hand over their tax affairs, if you show me yours, then I'll show you mine," she said.

"If the deputy chairman and the 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 as well at the same time."

Ms Rayner's defence came after Greater Manchester Police confirmed it was "reassessing" its initial decision not to investigate allegations made about her living arrangements after receiving a complaint.

The Labour MP has come under the spotlight in recent weeks over the sale of an ex-council house she previously owned in Stockport, having been accused of avoiding capital gains tax - something she has denied.

But she has also faced scrutiny over claims that in 2010, she may have lived primarily at her then husband's address, despite registering to vote under her own - which could be a breach of electoral rules.

Ms Rayner has said she paid bills and council tax and was registered to vote at the address. If it was her primary address, as she has claimed, she would not have had to pay capital gains tax on it when she sold it in 2015 for £127,500.

However, there have been claims that despite registering at Vicarage Road, she was primarily living at Lowndes Lane, Mr Rayner's address.

Greater Manchester Police looked into the claims and initially said there was no evidence of an offence being committed.

However, James Daly, the Tory MP for Bury North who filed the original complaint about Ms Rayner, followed up with the force and said they had failed to properly investigate the allegations - prompting them to reassess their initial decision.

In a fresh statement released on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the force said: "We have received a complaint regarding our decision not to investigate an allegation and are in the process of reassessing this decision.

Read more:

Angela Rayner pleads for family 'privacy' following row over ex-council house sale

Rishi Sunak: How Tory MPs can get rid of the prime minister - and who could be in the running to replace him

"The complainant will be updated with the outcome of the reassessment in due course."

The claims first surfaced in a book about Ms Rayner by former Conservative Party deputy chairman and Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, which has been serialised in the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper revealed she had made a £48,500 profit on her ex-council house through "right-to-buy", which gives local authority housing tenants the power to buy their home at a discounted rate - something Ms Rayner has criticised for giving some tenants "loads and loads of discount".

According to the newspaper, Ms Rayner bought her own former council house on Vicarage Road, Stockport, with a 25% discount in 2007 and realised the increased return when she sold it at the market rate eight years later.

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