In 2004 Hazel Blears sold her flat in Kennington for £200,000, making a profit of £45,000. She had declared it to the House of Commons Fees Office as her second home in order to claim £850 per month in mortgage payments, so she would have been liable for Capital Gains Tax on the profit. But Hazel never paid it because she told the taxman it was her main home.
Last Sunday, speaking outside her (1st? 2nd?) home in Eccles, Hazel Blears said "I have complied with the rules of the House, the rules of the Inland Revenue and that's the situation as it is"
Yet last night, while Hazel continued to insist that what she did was `within the rules', she suddenly produced a cheque for £13,332 which is the amount she reckons she would have had to pay in Capital Gains Tax.
If Hazel was `within the rules' then surely the taxman will tear the cheque up, as the Inland Revenue can't accept money that isn't owed. If Mr Taxman does accept it, then surely Hazel was `outside the rules' ie cheating.
Will she have to pay the interest on five years worth of outstanding tax? Will she be prosecuted, like benefit fraudsters? Will she have to do community service and wear one of those orange uniforms she was so fond of introducing? Will she at least be struck off as a solicitor?
For Hazel, speaking last night, it's not `the rules', it's the image that's bothering her..
It's "What they think about this issue and what they think about me..."
We'll let Salford decide that one!
Follow the Salford Star take on the whole Hazel scandal:
Part 3 Mary Burns