'Cover up' claim

Minister pressed over PPE firm payment to Mone

Michelle Mone Lords
Michelle Mone denies any role in the company

A UK government minister has been urged to explain how PPE Medpro linked was awarded more than £200m in contracts for protective equipment during the Covid pandemic.

Tens of millions of pounds of PPE Medpro’s profits were later transferred to an offshore trust of which Lady Mone and her adult children are alleged to be the beneficiaries, according to documents obtained by The Guardian.

The documents state that the payment to the trust was via Lady Mone’s husband, Doug Barrowman, who weeks earlier had received at least £65m in profits from PPE Medpro.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has accused the government of a ‘cover up’ and in the Commons pressed the health minister Neil O’Brien for answers.

Lady Mone has denied any role or function in PPE Medro or in the process in which it won government contracts.

Her lawyer last year said she “did not benefit financially and was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity”. On Thursday, Lady Mone broke a long silence on Twitter by sharing an image that said: “Don’t believe everything you read, or everything you think.”

Lady Mone, who was made a peer by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, is being investigated by the House of Lords Standards Commissioner in connection to PPE Medpro.

Properties linked to the company have previously been searched by the National Crime Agency.

In a statement yesterday, Ms Rayner said: “We learn that despite all the denials, Baroness Mone and her children stand to benefit to the tune of tens of millions from PPE Medpro’s profits at the expense of the taxpayer. This whole rotten business reeks of a cover up. It’s time the public got the full truth on this whole scandal.”

Today she referenced The Guardian story during an urgent question in the House of Commons, saying it appeared “tens of millions of pounds” from the money awarded to the company “ended up in offshore accounts connected to the individuals involved.

“Yet ministers are still refusing to publish correspondence relating to the award of the Medpro contract because they say the department is involved in the mediation process.”

Mr O’Brien defended the government’s actions and its use of a “VIP lane” that prioritised referrals 

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