Kick Michelle Mone out of the Lords, government minister says after baroness admits lying over PPE firm connection

18 December 2023, 11:06

Michelle Mone should be kept out of the Lords, a fellow peer has said
Michelle Mone should be kept out of the Lords, a fellow peer has said. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Michelle Mone should be kicked out of the House of Lords, a government minister has said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The baroness, a Conservative peer, has admitted she lied about her involvement in a 2020 PPE deal which saw her benefit from a contract between the government and PPE Medpro, led by her husband, during the pandemic.

Mone had recommended the firm to ministers.

She has taken a leave of absence from the Lords since the concerns about her ties to PPE Medpro and the contract emerged, but could return at any time.

Lord Callanan, an energy minister, said: "I would hope that she would not be coming back to the House of Lords."

Read more: Gove faces calls to answer MP questions after Michelle Mone names him over PPE scandal

Mone has admitted she did stand to benefit from a deal between the government and Medpro, which was given more than £200m to supply PPE at the height of the Covid outbreak.

But millions of gowns were never used and the Department of Health hopes to get back some of the money, having kicked off breach of contract proceedings. The couple says the gowns were supplied in accordance with the contract.

Michelle Mone has admitted lying to the press
Michelle Mone has admitted lying to the press. Picture: Alamy

The money went to financial trusts belonging to her husband Doug Barrowman, and she admitted she was a beneficiary of it. About £60m of profit went to the trusts.

And after admitting she had made an "error" in publicly denying a connection, she said lying to the press was "not a crime".

"I did make an error in saying to the press that I wasn't involved," she said.

Read more: Michelle Mone admits she stands to benefit from £60 million Covid equipment profit

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 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."

Mone has previously said in a video - believed to have been funded by PPE Medpro - that her and her husband have "done nothing wrong".

Lord Callanan said Mone should not be allowed back to the House of Lords
Lord Callanan said Mone should not be allowed back to the House of Lords. Picture: Alamy

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating PPE Medpro, while Mr Barrowman has alleged a government official asked if he "would pay more money for the NCA investigation to be called off".

"We get to November 2022, and I attend this negotiation, as opposed to a mediation," he told the BBC.

"It's very, very clear that, you know, they're interested in settling but they want a sum of money that, quite honestly, we are not of a mind to pay.

"So, I then have a separate meeting. And this individual asked me would I pay more for the other matter to go away.

"I was speechless, I didn't quite understand what he meant by that, because the only other matter on the table was the NCA investigation which had commenced in, as far as we were aware, April 2022.

"I was absolutely gobsmacked. I think it raises very serious questions as to what that official meant, what he was saying."

Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden said he would be "very surprised" if an official had said that, and insisted that the government's PPE policy early in the pandemic did not include "favours or special treatment".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Election 2024 Trump

Donald Trump easily beats Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina

Bridget Jones set to return for fourth film when cult rom-com starring Renee Zellweger begins filming later this year

Bridget Jones set to return for fourth film when cult rom-com starring Renee Zellweger begins filming later this year

An aircraft launching from USS Dwight D Eisenhower during flight operations in the Red Sea

US and UK strike Houthi sites in Yemen amid surge in Red Sea attacks on ships

Residents voting in the South Carolina Republican primary

Trump enters South Carolina primary looking to embarrass Haley in her home state

Britain and US strike more than a dozen targets in Yemen in response to ongoing attacks on shipping in Red Sea

Britain and US strike more than a dozen Houthi targets in Yemen following Red Sea shipping attacks

World leaders laid flowers in tribute to killed soldiers as they joined Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine

Western leaders rally around Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit has launched a murder investigation in the affulent commuter town Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

Murder investigation launched and man, 39, arrested after woman, 40, found fatally injured in Beaconsfield

Stan Bowles, QPR legend and former England 'maverick', dies age 75 following battle with Alzheimer's disease

Stan Bowles, QPR legend and former England 'maverick' footballer, dies age 75 following battle with Alzheimer's disease

Three female MPs have been issued with bodyguards and cars amid growing concern for politicians' safety

Three female MPs issued with 'taxpayer-funded bodyguards and cars' amid growing safety concerns

A picture of Alexei Navalny next to flowers in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin

Body of Russian opposition leader Navalny handed over to his mother, aide says

Destroyed residential buildings in Rafah

Israeli officials to meet over proposed pause in Gaza fighting

Wendy Williams thanks supporters for 'love and kind words' after she is diagnosed with same rare form of dementia as Bruce Willis

Wendy Williams thanks supporters for 'love and kind words' after she is diagnosed with same rare form of dementia as Bruce Willis

Competitors battle in a muddy pool at the Florida Man Games

Tank-topped teams compete in spoof sporting event in Florida

Children are seen in a building destroyed in an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, February 22

'Progress' made in Gaza ceasefire talks after Hamas 'drop some of its demands' that could see Israeli hostages released

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial