Angela Rayner investigation gained’t be drawn into ‘political spats’, says police chief | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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The investigation into Angela Rayner’s housing row is not going to be drawn into “political spats”, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has vowed.

Stephen Watson stated the power can be investigating allegations concerning the deputy Labour chief’s former dwelling preparations “fairly” and “impartially”.

The Ashton-under-Lyne MP, who denies wrongdoing, is going through claims over whether or not she owes tax on her ex-council home offered in 2015 and if she was registered to vote on the appropriate deal with.

Asked if he believed there was a pattern of politicians attempting to contain the police to undermine their rivals, and whether or not that bothered him, Mr Watson stated: “Not particularly … people may assert that … my job is a simple one … We investigate allegations of crime.

“We do so fairly, impartially. And we go where the evidence leads us.

“Of course, we operate in a system and one always has to be careful that we’re not drawn into political spats, all the rest of it, which is why candidly, I’m very loath to make comment … because all it does is it plays into that space and that for me, is not the role of the police. We should just simply play that stuff with a straight bat …”

Speaking to the Guardian, he added: “Ultimately, of course people have a responsibility as to how they conduct themselves and we do too.”

GMP initially stated it could not be investigating the allegations about Ms Rayner’s dwelling preparations from a decade in the past.

But it reassessed data and launched a probe following a criticism by Tory deputy chairman James Daly.

The row that has dogged the Labour firebrand for months centres on her former council home on Vicarage Road in Stockport.

She insists it was her principal residence between 2007 and 2015 when she offered it for a revenue.

She was registered on the home for 5 years after she married Mark Rayner in 2010, whereas he was listed at one other deal with a couple of mile away in Lowndes Lane.

But neighbours have disputed claims that the couple lived individually.

The Labour deputy chief has promised to resign if she is discovered to have dedicated a criminal offense over the accusations.