Rishi Sunak said he takes the scandal surrounding Baroness Michelle Mone “incredibly seriously” but refused to comment further.
Asked about her admission she had lied about her involvement in the firm PPE Medpro, the Prime Minister told reporters during a trip to Scotland: “The Government takes these things incredibly seriously, which is why we’re pursuing legal action against the company concerned in these matters.
“That’s how seriously I take it and the Government takes it.
“But it is also subject to an ongoing criminal investigation. And because of that, there’s not much further that I can add.”
Mone admitted she did not tell the truth about her links to Medpro, but insisted that she and her husband have “no case to answer”.
The company is currently being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA), while the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has since issued breach of contract proceedings over a 2020 deal on the supply of gowns.
But in her first major broadcast interview since the scandal emerged, Lady Mone insisted that lying to the media is “not a crime”.
It comes after she admitted she stands to benefit from a deal between the Government and the firm, which was awarded contracts worth more than £200m to supply personal protective equipment after she recommended it to ministers.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Government should make a statement in the Commons on Monday on the situation and said Lady Mone should not be sitting in the Lords.
Sir Keir said: “I think this is a shocking disgrace from top to bottom. And, as every day goes past, there are more questions that need to be answered. There’s now suggestions there was early private contact with members of the Cabinet that may have started this unhappy story in the first place.
“So, the Government needs come clean. It needs to make a statement about that.”
Asked if Lady Mone should be expelled from the Lord, the Labour leader said: “I don’t think she should be in the Lords. I think the Government should be held to account for this.”
Speaking at a hospital visit in Leeds, Sir Keir said: “I think that there are now serious questions that I think Michael Gove now, the Government, needs to answer. Who made the original contact? What was the nature of that discussion that led to the situation that we now learn developed.”
“I think they should make a statement in the House of Commons today about this so that the public can hear first-hand what actually happened here.”
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