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Police 'reassessing decision' not to investigate Angela Rayner after housing claims

Greater Manchester Police has said it is "reassessing" its decision not to investigate allegations made against Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner over 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 Ms Rayner 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.

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She told journalists earlier this month that there was "never a question of deceitfulness" or "conspiracy" with regards to her living arrangements, as she outlined her "difficult" family situation at the time.

But Tory MP James Daly asked police to investigate whether she had given false information or broken election rules.

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

However, 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.

"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.

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.

The deputy leader said she had since received "expert tax advice that says I've not dodged any tax or anything else".

She added: "I try and protect people who don't ask to be in the public eye and that's why I've been very clear: I've done nothing wrong, I've had expert tax advice, I've done nothing wrong."