X Factor Alex’s mum probed over benefit fraud

The mother of The X Factor winner Alexandra Burke is reportedly being investigated for suspected benefits fraud.

Melissa Bell, 44, has denied allegations that she has been paid for live performances while receiving a disability living allowance and income support from Islington council in north London.

The council is said to have launched an investigation after Alexandra and her mum discussed singing publicly together.

Melissa told the Daily Mirror: “I simply couldn’t believe it, but I rang the council and they have admitted I am under suspicion of benefit fraud. I’m absolutely outraged.”

The former soul singer has acute diabetes and was receiving dialysis three times a week after collapsing with kidney failure.

Alexandra, 20, won the £1 million a year X Factor recording contract and had a Christmas No 1.

Melissa said: “They think Alex is supporting me. If she’s giving me money I have to declare it – but she hasn’t. She’s not allowed to live in my house because that would cancel my benefits, but she’s not. Alex came here for Christmas, but she doesn’t actually live with me.”

Officials contacted all of the venues listed on Melissa’s website to check whether she was paid for them.

“The council can come and search me right now. Any money I’ve received I’ve given to the Kidney Patient Association… I am very mindful of the rules,” she added.

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