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The Shadow First Secretary of State wrote a letter to the Chair of the Conservatives demanding Jill Mortimer published her tax returns after reports the Hartlepool Tory candidate spent time living in the Cayman Islands – a renowned tax haven.
Tweeting out her letter, Ms Rayner 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 return.”
However, Amanda Milling, the co-chairman for the Conservatives, hit back at the Labour MP and claimed her accusations were an “eye-popping error”.
Ms Milling tweeted: “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 a counter-fraud, anti-corruption, and anti-terrorist financing.
Ms Milling continued her attack on the Labour MP and said Ms Mortimer’s ex-husband is a “highly respected barrister, experienced financial services regulator”.
She continued: “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?
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“Is Angela judging a woman by the work of her ex?”
Ms Milling then pointed out how Ms Mortimer’s ex-husband’s job was “signed off by a Labour Foreign Secretary!”
She added: “This shows once and for all that all Labour care about is playing political games.
“Jill is focused on the priorities of voters in Hartlepool.
“Even by Angela’s standards, this is embarrassing.”
Ms Rayner has since responded and continued to demand Ms Mortimer should publish her tax returns if she “didn’t benefit from living in a tax haven”.
The Labour MP wrote: “Hi Amanda Milling, thanks for your patronising response.
“Why did Marcus Killick say that tax havens are ‘entirely legitimate’ and the industrial-scale tax avoidance revealed by the Panama Papers was “entirely legitimate”?
“When will your candidate publish her tax returns? Thanks.
“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?”
This comes ahead of the crucial Hartlepool by-election next month.
Labour has been dominant in the area for six decades but the Tories look set to secure a shock victory.
The Opposition party is defending a narrow 3,595-vote majority in the town it has held since former Prime Minister Harold Wilson nearly 60 years ago.
But recent polls suggest the Conservatives are leading the by-election race.
In the 2019 general election, Hartlepool’s neighbouring constituencies turned their allegiance to the Conservatives.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Labour Party and Angela Rayner for comment.
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