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UK opposition deputy faces no further police action afer probe

By AFP

May 28, 2024 10:04 PM


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UK police said Tuesday that Labour's deputy leader would face no further police action over claims she broke the law, a boost for the opposition party during Britain's general election campaign.

Conservative MPs had accused Angela Rayner of giving false information about where she was actually living to avoid paying full tax on the sale of her council house in 2015.

She has denied wrongdoing and accused Conservatives of a "manufactured" smear by alleging she was actually living with her ex-husband at the time, as they tried to narrow their deficit in opinion polls ahead of the election set for July 4.

Labour leader Keir Starmer publicly backed Rayner throughout the row, which centred on which home she declared as her principal residence on the electoral register.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said the force had completed "a thorough, carefully considered and proportionate investigation" into Rayner following a complaint from Conservative deputy chairman James Daly.

"We have concluded that no further police action will be taken," the spokesperson said in a statement.

The statement suggested, however, that the matter might not be completely over.

"Matters involving council tax and personal tax do not fall into the jurisdiction of policing," the statement said, adding that information from the investigation had been shared with the tax authorities and the local council.

A spokesperson for Stockport Council said: "Stockport Council has reviewed and responded to all correspondence relating to this matter, including information received from Greater Manchester Police who have concluded that no further police action will be taken."

"We have also concluded that no further action will be taken on behalf of the council," it said.

Labour, in opposition since 2010, is well ahead of the Tories in opinion polls but requires a huge swing on polling day to secure a majority.

If it does form the next government, Rayner, 44, is expected to become deputy prime minister.

A Labour spokesman said Rayner "cooperated fully with the police investigation throughout" and Tuesday's announcement "draws a line under the matter".


AFP


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