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Fresh headache for Labour as questions grow over Angela Rayner’s tax affairs

todayApril 7, 2024 1

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Fresh headache for Labour as questions grow over Angela Rayner’s tax affairs

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner is facing fresh questions over her tax affairs – and there’s a feeling in Westminster that they will not be the last.

It’s the same allegation that keeps popping up around whether she paid enough tax on the sale of her home in Stockport in 2015.

She had bought her ex-council house and made £48,000 on the sale which, if it was not her principal property, would have been eligible for capital gains tax. Angela Rayner has always maintained this was her primary home and therefore she was exempt from this tax.

Today the Mail on Sunday claimed that according to its own analysis of her social media and Twitter accounts, it has evidence to suggest she should have paid more capital gains tax precisely because that house was not her primary property.

The paper says it has seen dozens of online postings made by the MP that show that during 2010-2015 she posted about her children and cats at her husband’s address – which was a house a mile away from hers – including a post captioned “just got back from work”.

Pic: X / Angela Rayner

Image:
Pic: X / Angela Rayner

Pic: X / Angela Rayner

Image:
Pic: X / Angela Rayner

Ms Rayner has said in the past that “as with the majority of ordinary people who sell their own homes, I was not liable for capital gains tax because it was my home and the only one I owned”.

She has always maintained she has done nothing wrong – she also said she had expert tax advice, which has “confirmed” her position.

And speaking to Sky News’ Trevor Phillips, her shadow cabinet colleague, David Lammy, said she had the “full support” of the Labour Party.

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Lammy: ‘I don’t think this is a story’

“These smears… are not about Angela Rayner and her blended family,” he added. “It is about Tory chaos, ‘let’s distract and focus on this non-story’. She has played by the rules.”

The rules around capital gains tax are somewhat complex.

Married couples can only have one principal residence for capital gains tax purposes but if the couple own more than one home then they are free to choose which is their principal residence.

And clearly social media postings are not conclusive.

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The bigger problem for Ms Rayner politically is that she’s not currently willing to publish tax advice which she claims exonerates her and has not shown it to the party leader Sir Keir Starmer, and without that, the Conservatives are keen to carry on questioning whether she fully followed the rules around this property.

In response to the Mail’s claims, a Labour Party spokesperson said: “Angela and her husband mutually decided to maintain their existing residences to reflect their family’s circumstances and they shared childcare responsibilities.

“Angela has always made clear she also spent time at her husband’s property when they had children and got married. She was perfectly entitled to do so.”

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Whether she has broken the rules is unclear but what is becoming apparent is how quickly this is turning into a political headache for the Labour Party.

Written by: Newsroom

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