Angela Rayner left red-faced after she accuses Tories’ Hartlepool by-election candidate Jill Mortimer of having ‘links to Cayman Islands tax haven’ as Conservatives say she lived there with her family because her then husband was a banking REGULATOR
- Angela Rayner wrote to Tory chairman Amanda Milling about Jill Mortimer
- Labour wanted answers on ‘links to tax havens’ after she lived in Cayman Islands
- But Tories said she lived there with husband who worked as financial regulator
- Conservative Party chairman Amanda Milling has accused Ms Rayner of a ‘slur’
The Tories have accused Angela Rayner of a ‘slur’ against their Hartlepool by-election candidate after Labour’s deputy leader suggested Jill Mortimer had ‘links to tax havens’.
Ms Rayner sent a letter to Conservative Party chairman Amanda Milling in which she said ‘it is being reported that your candidate… spent time living in a tax haven where her former husband worked as a banker’.
Ms Rayner said: ‘I am sure I do not need to remind you that businesses that set up in places like the Cayman Islands tend to have a very specific motivation for doing so: namely, to avoid paying their fair share of taxes that contribute to running the public services we all rely on in this country.’
But Sir Keir Starmer’s deputy risked humiliation after Ms Milling replied that Ms Mortimer ‘was in Cayman with her family because her then husband was a REGULATOR, working on counter-fraud, anti-corruption, and anti-terrorist financing’.
Ms Milling accused Ms Rayner of making ‘an eye popping error’ as she labelled it a ‘slur’.
Tory chair Amanda Milling (pictured right) has accused Angela Rayner (pictured left) of a ‘slur’ against Conservative Hartlepool by-election candidate Jill Mortimer
Ms Rayner said in a letter to Ms Milling that reports suggested Ms Mortimer (pictured above) had ‘spent time living in a tax haven where her former husband worked as a banker’. But Ms Milling said Ms Mortimer ‘was in Cayman with her family because her then husband was a REGULATOR’
The Hartlepool by-election will take place on May 6 and Ms Rayner yesterday tweeted a copy of her letter to Ms Milling and said: ‘The Tory candidate in Hartlepool has more connections with tax havens than she does with Hartlepool.
‘Why do people do business in the Cayman Islands? To avoid paying tax. I’ve written to the Chair of the Conservatives demanding that their candidate publishes her tax returns.’
Ms Milling replied: ‘Wow. This is an eye-popping error from Angela Rayner.
‘UK Labour tried to slur Jill for ‘living in a tax haven’ But… she was in Cayman with her family because her then husband was a REGULATOR, working on counter-fraud, anti-corruption, and anti-terrorist financing. Yikes!
‘Contrary to Angela’s claim, Jill’s ex husband isn’t a ‘banker’.. …He’s a highly respected barrister, experienced financial services regulator awarded an OBE for services to regulation!
‘Surely Lab doesn’t oppose this work? Is Angela judging a woman by the work of her ex?’
Ms Rayner tweeted a copy of her letter to Ms Milling and demanded that Ms Mortimer publish her tax returns
But Ms Milling said Ms Rayner had made ‘an eye-popping error’ and accused her of a ‘slur’ against Ms Mortimer
Ms Milling said ‘Jill is focused on the priorities of voters in Hartlepool’ and ‘even by Angela’s standards this is embarrassing’.
Ms Rayner then hit back and accused Ms Milling of a ‘patronising response’ as she asked: ‘When will your candidate publish her tax returns?
‘If your candidate in Hartlepool didn’t benefit from living in a tax haven then I’m sure she will be happy to prove it and publish her tax returns showing she paid taxes in the UK?’
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