‘Baroness Bra’ Michelle Mone is embroiled in a criminal investigation into £203m PPE contracts, sleaze watchdog reveals
- Michelle Mone is being investigated by the HoL Commissioners for Standards
- A medical supplies company she recommended to ministers has won £203million worth of contracts
- She is accused of pressuring her to win the huge contracts to supply face masks
A Tory peer suffered a further blow last night as a sleaze Westminster watchdog said for the first time that she was embroiled in a criminal investigation.
Michelle Mone has been under investigation by House of Lords standards commissioners since January over her alleged links to a medical supplies company that won £203million in government contracts after recommending her to ministers.
She is accused of breaching the Lords’ code of conduct by failing to declare an interest in PPE Medpro as well as pressuring her to win the huge contracts to supply surgical gowns and face masks.
Yesterday the watchdog said for the first time that the matter was being investigated as part of a criminal probe into the scandal.
Although it emerged in April that the National Crime Agency had raided the Isle of Man home that Baroness Mone shares with her husband as part of an investigation into potential fraud on PPE Medpro, she has always denied any involvement in the business.
A statement on the Parliament’s website said: ‘The Commissioner is unable to finalize or publish a report into the conduct of Baroness Mone while the matter is under investigation by the police or another organization in connection with a criminal investigation. Once any criminal proceedings are completed or ceased, the commissioner will complete his investigation and release his report.
Baroness Michelle Mone awaits the start of the official opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament on June 21. Mone has been under investigation by House of Lords standards commissioners since January over his alleged links to a £203million medical supplies company. in public procurement
It came as the 51-year-old lingerie magnate – nicknamed Baroness Bra – came under fire from MPs over claims she made millions from shoddy medical supplies sold to the NHS.
Controversy reached the Commons yesterday after The Guardian reported that £29m of profits from EPP Medpro had been transferred by her husband, Douglas Barrowman, to an offshore trust whose beneficiaries were Lady Mone and her children, although she denied having benefited financially from the company.
In an urgent question about the purchase of PPE, Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said: ‘Documents seen by The Guardian have revealed another case of wasting taxpayers’ money, with a total failure due diligence and conflict of interest at the heart of public procurement.
“In May 2020, PPE Medpro was set up and awarded £203m in government contracts after a recommendation from a Tory peer.
‘It now appears that tens of millions of pounds of that money ended up in offshore accounts linked to those involved – profits made possible by the firm’s personal connections to ministers and the Tories’ VIP route, which has been declared unlawful by the High Court. ‘
She asked if any public funds had been recovered from EPI Medpro. Health Minister Neil O’Brien acknowledged that it had been reported that PPE Medpro “had an underperforming contract”.
Lady Michelle Mone OBE and business partner, Doug Barrowman attend the launch of the new Business Club. The pair are accused of breaching the Lords’ code of conduct by failing to declare an interest in Medpro PPE as well as pushing for him to win the huge contracts to supply surgical gowns and face masks
He said that in such cases, the government writes to companies outlining a claim for damages before litigation if an agreement cannot be reached.
“We haven’t reached the point where a satisfactory agreement has been reached,” he said.
Lady Mone attempted to dismiss the growing scandal surrounding her. “Don’t believe everything you read or think,” she wrote on Instagram, in a post applauded by footballer’s wife Rebekah Vardy.
Mone is pictured with models during an appearance at House of Fraser in Manchester. The 51-year-old lingerie tycoon – nicknamed Baroness Bra – has come under fire from MPs over claims she made millions from shoddy medical supplies sold to the NHS.