PPE controversy

Hunter says Baroness Mone is ‘own worst enemy’

Sir Tom Hunter and Baroness Mone

Sir Tom Hunter, who has previously provided financial support for Baroness Michelle Mone, has described the Glasgow-born businesswoman as “her own worst enemy”.

The Ayrshire entrepreneur supported the peer as she struggled in the early days of establishing her lingerie business and then went on to build a national brand and a celebrity lifestyle.

Commenting this weekend on her involvement in the supply of medical equipment to the government during the pandemic, he said his help had been through his philanthropic Hunter Foundation.

“We helped Michelle in her early days and one of the key aims of our foundation is that we help hundreds of companies in Scotland to start and grow,” he told a Sunday morning television show, presented by Laura Kuenssberg.

“I think she’s her own worst enemy. In her interview with yourself, you know, it was a car crash interview. Why did she decide to do it? You must be very persuasive.”

Referring to the PPE scandal he added: “But she is not the only one who benefited.”

Baroness Mone and her husband, Douglas Barrowman, were interviewed recently on the Kuenssberg show about their involvement in PPE Medpro, a company that received £220 million in Covid-related contracts.

She admitted lying to the media, but added “I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I regret and I’m sorry for not saying straight out, yes, I am involved.”

Sir Tom added: “When the pandemic hit, there was no one person in the world who had lived through a pandemic.

“The government, in my opinion, panicked but I understand the panic because there wasn’t enough PPE.

“And there was this VIP lane, which probably on paper looked OK, so who can help us get this? But then it turns out it’s friends of government ministers who maybe hadn’t made this thing in the past.”

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