UK

Angela Rayner says she will ‘step down’ if she is found to have committed a crime

Angela Rayner has said she will “do the right thing and step down” if she is found to have committed a crime in the police investigation into her former living arrangements.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed earlier today that it was re-examining claims the deputy Labour leader may have broken electoral law over information she gave about her living situation a decade ago.

The force made the decision after Tory MP James Daly informed it of claims made by neighbours that allegedly contradicted the Labour deputy leader’s statement that the property she lived in in Stockport before she was an MP was her main residence and not her husband’s – as some have claimed.

Tory MP James Daly informed GMP of claims made by neighbours that allegedly contradicted Ms Rayner’s statement that her property – which was separate from her then husband’s – was her main residence.

In a fresh statement following the police action, Ms Rayner said would welcome a meeting with appropriate authorities, including HMRC and the police “to set out the facts and draw a line under this matter”.

She said she was “completely confident I’ve followed the rules at all times”.

“I have always said that integrity and accountability are important in politics,” she continued.

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“That’s why it’s important that this is urgently looked at, independently and without political interference.”

She added: “I make no apologies for having held Conservative ministers to account in the past. Indeed, the public would rightly expect me to do so as a deputy leader of the Opposition.

“We have seen the Tory Party use this playbook before – reporting political opponents to the police during election campaigns to distract from their record.

“I will say as I did before – if I committed a criminal offence, I would of course do the right thing and step down. The British public deserves politicians who know the rules apply to them.

“The questions raised relate to a time before I was an MP and I have set out my family’s circumstances and taken expert tax and legal advice. I look forward to setting out the facts with the relevant authorities at the earliest opportunity.”

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