Baroness Michelle Mone breaks silence over PPE row, with admission of ‘regrets

Baroness Michelle Mone taking ‘leave of absence’

Baroness Michelle Mone has broken a two-year silence since allegations emerged that she profited from selling unusable PPE equipment during the pandemic.

In a new documentary by award-winning investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas, Baroness Mone has said she “can’t take anymore” and is preparing to “start fighting back” against the allegations.

Baroness Mone reportedly profited from PPE Medpro winning public contracts worth more than £200million, with the Department for Health and Social Care now being sued by the Government for £122million plus costs.

Baroness Mone recommended Medpro to the DHSC via the so-called VIP lane, whereby MPs and others with connections to the Government could secure fast-tracked contracts.

The Government has said the equipment provided by Medpro “did not comply with the specification in the contract”.

READ MORE: DHSC accuses firm of supplying defective PPE

In November 2022, The Guardian alleged she “and her children secretly received £29m originating from the profits of a PPE”.

Today she has hit out at “all the lies” surrounding her and her husband, saying she thinks “everyone feels that because we have been silent that we are guilty”.

The Tory peer has also said she’s “ashamed of being a Conservative peer given what this Government has done to us”, accusing her party of betraying and scapegoating her for its own failings in the PPE procurement scandal.

She argues in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph that her husband’s firm is only of of 51 companies facing criminal investigation after securing contracts via the VIP lane, and PPE Medpro is the only one out of 24 firms who provided gowns in single-wrapping to face litigation, even though other firms have also been accused of the same failure.

An investigative documentary released this morning, featuring an interview with Baroness Mone, claims the errors around the gowns were not the fault of suppliers but the Government’s, as their procurement team failed to specify that the NHS’s preference was for the gowns to be double bagged.

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While Baroness Mone claims she did not know about the VIP lane “until I read about it in the newspapers”, she does concede she made “an error” when denying her involvement with Medpro.

In December 2020, her lawyers said she had “no role or function” in the firm, however that was contradicted the following November when the Government revealed she had been the “source of referral” for the company.

Speaking in the documentary, Baroness Mone admitted she “made an error in what I said to the press”.

“I regret not saying to the press, straight away ‘Yes, I am involved.’

“The Government knew I was involved. And the emergency team, cabinet team knew I was involved. The Government, DHSC, knew that I was involved, NHS, all of them.”

Doug Barrowman, Baroness Mone’s husband, also argues that their PPE prices “saved the Government over a hundred million pounds”.

They argue that the average price of sterile gowns at the time was £7-£12, however Medpro sold them for £4.88.

Similarly the average price of a type IIR mask at the time was 51p, with Medpro selling them for 38.5p.

Mr Barrowman and PPE Medro are now defending the civil claim, arguing the gowns they produced were high quality.

Asked what the future holds for her, Baroness Mone answered: “The future is to get over all of this. To start fighting back.”

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