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Angela Rayner felt her ‘wings had been clipped’ by police probe into house row

The deputy Labour leader declared ‘I’m back’ on the campaign trail after police said they would take no further action.

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Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner

Angela Rayner has said she felt her “wings had been clipped” by the police investigation into the sale of her former council house and that it caused a “distraction” from Labour’s election campaign.

But after police said they would take no further action, Labour’s deputy leader declared she is “back” and is “powering up the battle bus”.

Greater Manchester Police on Tuesday said they concluded their probe into her living arrangements almost a decade ago and that they would take no further action against the politician.

Ms Rayner on Thursday said it had distracted her from the matters she cares about, such as the housing crisis.

On being cleared by the police, she told Sky News: “It was a bit bittersweet for me because I just felt like I’d lost a lot of time.

“I felt like my wings had been clipped from me to be able to raise those issues.”

She said the investigation had been shaming and that “as a working class person to have the police onto you, it taints you”.

Ms Rayner said she had never been in trouble with the law, but admitted that she did shoplift once when she was under 16.

Angela Rayner with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The Labour frontbencher had faced claims she may have broken electoral law and dodged capital gains tax on the 2015 sale of her Stockport property because of the way she and her then-husband used separate homes.

Ms Rayner told the broadcaster: “I had my house that I got when I was a single mum and it mattered to me. It was a big deal.

“I never felt secure when I was a child. I never felt safe.

“So for me to be in a position to provide for my son and to get the house, it was a massive deal.”

She and her ex-husband Mark Rayner “always had separate finances”, she said, stressing that she has “always been fiercely proud of my independence”.

Ms Rayner said she regretted the public scrutiny the row had put her family under.

“It was horrible,” she said. “I feel a sense of regret that I put my family through this. But they also know that I’m trying to do some good.”

Ms Rayner also said it was a waste of police time, telling ITV News: “I am frustrated because it distracts resources that wasn’t necessary.”

But with the row behind her, Ms Rayner said she is ready to hit the General Election campaign trail on her own battle bus.

“I’m back. I’m powering up the battle bus.”

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