Melissa Bell insists she’s innocent

Alexandra Burke’s mum has rubbished claims she’s a benefit cheat.

Singer Melissa Bell, 44, has discovered she’s being investigated for allegedly claiming maintenance worth £17,344 a year whilst also being paid for gigs.

‘I couldn’t believe it,’ she says. ‘I rang the council and they admitted I am under suspicion of benefit fraud. I’m outraged.

‘The council can come and search me right now. Officials have looked online at all the places I’ve appeared at and contacted them all. But any money I’ve received I’ve given to the Kidney Association.

‘I am very mindful of the rules. I sang at my hospital for the patients, but I didn’t get paid for that.’

Islington council also reckon X Factor winner Alex, 20, has been using her £1million prize money to help out her mother. 

‘They think she is supporting me,’ Melissa, who has severe diabetes, tells the Daily Mirror. ‘If she’s giving me money I have to declare it — but she hasn’t.

‘She’s not allowed to live in my house as that would cancel my benefits, but she’s not. It looks like I’m a fraud because Alex came and stayed with her sick mum a few days over Christmas.’
Melissa could face 7 years in jail if found guilty of the most serious allegations.

Islington council refused to comment, saying: ‘We never discuss individual cases.’

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