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  • The deputy Labour leader has kept a low profile during probe into her tax affairs

Michael Gove taunted Angela Rayner about the police investigation into her house sale yesterday.

The Levelling Up Secretary mocked his opposite number as she took to the despatch box for the first time since the probe into her tax affairs was announced. The deputy Labour leader is being investigated over whether she paid the correct amount of tax on the sale of her right-to-buy home, and completed official documents correctly.

Ms Rayner has kept a low profile in recent days despite her party launching its flagship housing policy which is within her brief as the shadow Levelling Up Secretary.

But she appeared at the despatch box yesterday where she clashed with Mr Gove over mayoral candidates ahead of next week’s local elections.

He in turn mocked her for calling for an investigation into spending by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. Speaking at communities questions, Ms Rayner praised Labour politicians for their work as elected mayors – including Sadiq Khan in London – but criticised Lord Houchen.

Michael Gove taunts Angela Rayner over the police investigation into her house sale

Michael Gove taunted Angela Rayner about the police investigation into her house sale yesterday

The deputy Labour leader (pictured in March) is being investigated over whether she paid the correct amount of tax on the sale of her right-to-buy home, and completed official documents correctly

The deputy Labour leader (pictured in March) is being investigated over whether she paid the correct amount of tax on the sale of her right-to-buy home, and completed official documents correctly

She said: ‘The review into Lord Houchen’s handling of Teesworks found, and I quote, the principles of spending public money are not being consistently observed. So why won’t the Secretary of State give the National Audit Office the chance to investigate?’

Mr Gove replied: ‘Well I’m sure the honourable lady is very keen that all sorts of matters are investigated properly by independent figures who can be trusted.’

Ms Rayner will face deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden at Prime Minister’s Questions tomorrow as they stand in for Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak.

Ms Rayner has said she will ‘do the right thing and step down’ if she is found to have committed a crime in relation to her living situation a decade ago but claims she followed the law.

Ms Rayner is facing continued pressure over claims she may have owed capital gains tax on profit made from the sale of her council house in Stockport in 2015 – and that she may have broken electoral law by registering at the wrong address. Ms Rayner was registered at the property on the electoral roll until her husband sold his property in 2016, as reported by The Guardian.

Her husband was listed at another address in Lowndes Lane, about a mile away, also bought under the right-to-buy scheme.

Mr Gove mocked her for calling for an investigation into spending by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (pictured last June)

Mr Gove mocked her for calling for an investigation into spending by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (pictured last June)

Ms Rayner will face deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden (pictured in Seoul in March) at Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow as they stand in for Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Ms Rayner will face deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden (pictured in Seoul in March) at Prime Minister’s Questions tomorrow as they stand in for Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Ms Rayner insists she lived in the semi-detached former council house in Vicarage Road – paying council tax and bills – until May 2015, and never rented it out.

But neighbours have reportedly disputed her claim that she lived apart from her then husband.

The Labour MP later sold the property in March 2015, ahead of her election to Parliament.



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