25 Nov

Labour calls for inquiry into Tory peer Michelle Mone over PPE contract

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The Guardian

Labour is calling for an investigation into the conduct and honesty of Conservative peer Michelle Mone after she repeatedly denied any association with a PPE company it has since emerged she recommended to the government.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently revealed that Lady Mone referred the company, PPE Medpro Ltd, as a potential supplier during the coronavirus pandemic.

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It was then entered into a VIP fast-track, high priority lane for firms with political connections before being awarded two contracts, for face masks and surgical gowns, valued in total at 203m.

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Formed on 12 May last year, PPE Medpro was administered and provided with directors by Knox House Trust (KHT), an Isle of Man corporate services firm run by Mones husband, Douglas Barrowman.

In extensive correspondence over six weeks last year, Mone was asked repeatedly by the Guardian about her connection to PPE Medpro. She was also asked whether she had any discussions with government officials about the firm.

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Meanwhile, PPE Medpro was asked if anybody involved in the company had discussions with any peers as part of its approach to the government.

In their responses, neither Mone nor PPE Medpro disclosed that she had referred the company to Lord Agnew, a Cabinet Office minister.

At the time of the correspondence, Mones lawyersrepeatedly denied that she had any connection or association with the company, or any role in how it secured the contracts.

One of the responses stated Mone has never had any role or function in PPE Medpro, nor in the process by which contracts were awarded to PPE Medpro. Her lawyers claimed Mone was not connected in any way with PPE Medpro and added any suggestion of an association between their client and PPE Medpro would be both inaccurate and misleading.

Continue read on theguardian.com

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