Home Uncategorized Labour chair Anneliese Dodds dismisses Angela Rayner’s housing row as ‘petty politicking’...

Labour chair Anneliese Dodds dismisses Angela Rayner’s housing row as ‘petty politicking’ as she defends party’s deputy leader for not publishing tax advice on her ex-council house sale

24
0


Labour chair Anneliese Dodds today dismissed Angela Rayner‘s housing row as ‘petty politicking’ and said she was ‘really proud’ of the party’s deputy leader.

She offered her full support to Ms Rayner despite the intense pressure on Labour over the deputy leader’s controversial property dealings.

Ms Dodds defended Ms Rayner for refusing to publish the tax advice she received on the sale of her ex-council house.

She also attacked on the Tories for being ‘fixated on the personal finances of one individual’, rather than on the cost-of-living crisis ‘hammering’ Britons.

In a weeks-long row, Ms Rayner is facing demands to further explain her past living arrangements amid claims she may have escaped paying some tax.

It is also alleged she may have made a false declaration about where she was living on the electoral register, amid confusion about what was her principal residency. 

In a further development last night, Stockport Council said it was reviewing whether Ms Rayner claimed single person’s council tax discount on her property, while letting her brother live there.

Ms Rayner has repeatedly said she had done ‘absolutely nothing wrong’, but insisted she would not publish ‘personal’ tax and legal advice.

Labour chair Anneliese Dodds today dismissed Angela Rayner's housing row as 'petty politicking' and said she was 'really proud' of the party's deputy leader (pictured)

Labour chair Anneliese Dodds today dismissed Angela Rayner’s housing row as ‘petty politicking’ and said she was ‘really proud’ of the party’s deputy leader (pictured)

Ms Dodds offered her full support to Ms Rayner despite the intense pressure on Labour over the deputy leader's controversial property dealings.

Ms Dodds offered her full support to Ms Rayner despite the intense pressure on Labour over the deputy leader’s controversial property dealings.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, Ms Dodds defended Ms Rayner’s refusal to publish that advice.

‘I’ve got complete confidence in Angela Rayner, I’m really proud that she’s our deputy leader,’ she said.

‘That kind of confidential advice that’s provided to an individual would not normally be made public.

‘You haven’t found, for example, Conservative politicians making that public.

‘I have to say, for many members of the public when they’re looking at this – and the Conservative Party apparently fixated on the personal finances of one individual – many people watching this will be saying “well, hang on a minute, what about my family finances”.

‘”What about the cost-of-living crisis that is hammering my family, what about the money I don’t have in my back pocket”.

‘Why don’t we have a Conservative Party in Government that is focused on family finances rather than what seems to be petty politicking about one individual politician’s finances?’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer this week backed his deputy over claims Ms Rayner may have dodged tax and even broken the law when she sold her former council house a decade ago.

The Labour leader said he was ‘satisfied’ that ‘tax and legal’ advice commissioned by Ms Rayner proved she had done nothing wrong.

But in an extraordinary twist, the former director of public prosecutions later admitted he had not even seen the advice himself before declaring Ms Rayner to be innocent.

The police this week confirmed they were reconsidering a formal investigation into the affair, having previously dismissed it.

Conservative Party deputy chairman Jonathan Gullis urged Sir Keir to come clean and set out the truth about his deputy’s past property dealings.

In a letter to the Labour leader, Mr Gullis noted Sir Keir’s previously stated view that ‘there should be no power without accountability, and true accountability requires transparency’.

He said it was not good enough for Ms Rayner to rely on advice she is unwilling to publish, adding: ‘As things stand, the public has no knowledge of what information she gave to whoever advised her, let alone what advice she was given.’

Mr Gullis said Sir Keir had a duty to explain how he had cleared Ms Rayner without even seeing the advice she is relying on, adding that it was not even clear whether the advice covered tax or legal issues.

And he asked whether the Labour leader was ‘content’ for his deputy to have made ‘misleading statements to the media’ about the issue.

Mr Gullis urged Sir Keir to answer the many outstanding questions about the affair, adding: ‘If you cannot, I would ask that you compel your deputy to answer them.’

He added: ‘I know you will be anxious to avoid a deputy leadership election, especially with the splits in your party over Gaza, but if you are to stand by your previous statements and reassure the public, you and Ms Rayner must answer the questions that I and others have put to you.’

Ms Rayner said she had received ‘personal tax advice’ which exonerated her over the sale of a house in Stockport which neighbours say was effectively a second home.

The Labour firebrand, who is on course to be Britain’s first female deputy prime minister, has been mired in controversy since The Mail on Sunday revealed her complex property dealings last month.

Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) backed his deputy over claims she may have dodged tax and even broken the law when she sold her former council house a decade ago

Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) backed his deputy over claims she may have dodged tax and even broken the law when she sold her former council house a decade ago

Ms Rayner used Margaret Thatcher's Right to Buy scheme to purchase her former council home in Vicarage Road, Stockport, in January 2007, before becoming an MP

Ms Rayner used Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme to purchase her former council home in Vicarage Road, Stockport, in January 2007, before becoming an MP 

Ms Rayner married Mark Rayner in September 2010 and when the couple re-registered the births of their two sons that year, they provided Mark's address in nearby Lowndes Lane

Ms Rayner married Mark Rayner in September 2010 and when the couple re-registered the births of their two sons that year, they provided Mark’s address in nearby Lowndes Lane

Greater Manchester Police confirmed this week that officers were reassessing a decision not to investigate claims that she gave false information on official documents.

HM Revenue and Customs has also been asked to investigate whether she should have paid capital gains tax on the sale of the property.

Ms Rayner told the BBC she was willing to hand the advice to both the police and the taxman. But she said she would not be publishing it because it was ‘personal’.

During tense exchanges with presenter Nick Robinson, she insisted: ‘I’m not going to lie about tax advice. That would be ridiculous, unless I’m being accused of being a liar.’

She said separately that she would publish her tax advice only if a string of Conservative ministers, including Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt also published details of their tax affairs going back 15 years.

‘If you show me yours, then I’ll show you mine,’ she added. Sir Keir backed his deputy and said he was ‘satisfied’ that the advice showed she ‘has not broken any rules’.

Speaking alongside Ms Rayner at an event in Dudley to launch Labour’s local election campaign, Sir Keir said: ‘Angela has my full support and my full confidence today and every day as we work to take the Labour Party back into government.

‘Angela has answered I don’t know how many questions. She has not broken any rules. She has taken legal and tax advice which has satisfied her and us and me.’

But he later admitted that he had not seen the advice himself, telling Sky News: ‘I have faith in Angela Rayner’s answers.

‘I know she’s taken legal advice. My team has looked at it. Her team’s looked at it. There is no need for me personally to look at it, nor is it appropriate to do so.’

Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns pointed out that Ms Rayner has previously called on Tory ministers, such as former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, to publish details of their own tax affairs to clear up controversies.

She has also frequently urged ministers accused of wrongdoing to resign, even before the case is proven.

Ms Jenkyns said: ‘Angela Rayner is caught in her own web of hypocrisy. She is quick to point fingers at others, but conveniently ignores her own alleged rule-breaking.’

Ms Rayner used Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme to purchase her former council home in Vicarage Road, Stockport, in January 2007, before becoming an MP.

She married Mark Rayner in September 2010 and when the couple re-registered the births of their two sons that year, they provided Mark’s address in nearby Lowndes Lane.

But Ms Rayner remained on the electoral roll at Vicarage Road until 2015 when she sold the house at a profit of £48,500.

A married couple can have only one main residence, with capital gains tax due on the sale of a second home. Experts have suggested she should have paid up to £3,000 in capital gains tax.

Ms Rayner has repeatedly refused to say which property she was living in during a six-year period from 2009 to 2015.

Knowingly providing false information on an electoral registration form is an offence, which can carry a six-month prison sentence or unlimited fine.

Earlier this month, she told the Mail that the house in Vicarage Road was her ‘principal property’ but said she would ‘spend time’ at Lowndes Lane after her children were born because her husband ‘wanted to see his children’.

But neighbours at both properties insist she lived at Lowndes Lane throughout this period, despite registering on the electoral roll at Vicarage Road. One branded her a ‘f***ing liar’.

Neighbours also say Ms Rayner’s brother, Darren Bowen, lived at Vicarage Road from 2012, despite being on the electoral roll at Lowndes Lane.

Stockport Council said it was ‘reviewing’ reports that Ms Rayner may have claimed single person’s council tax discount on Mr Bowen’s behalf while she was living at her property.



Source link

Previous articleForecasters say US could be hit by 25 storms including 12 hurricanes this year thanks to warm waters in Gulf of Mexico and La Nina weather phenomenon
Next articleSelena Gomez launches Selena + Restaurant on Food Network

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here