Michelle Mone admits ‘error’ in denying links to PPE firm

The Tory peer's links to the PPE Medpro firm are being investigated by the National Crime Agency.

Baroness Michelle Mone has conceded she made an “error” in publicly denying her links to the PPE Medpro firm being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The Conservative peer and Ultimo bra tycoon launched a public defence on Sunday over the controversy surrounding “VIP lane” contracts during the coronavirus pandemic.

PPE Medpro was awarded Government contracts worth more than £200 million to supply personal protective equipment after she recommended it to ministers.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has since issued breach of contract proceedings over the 2020 deal on the supply of gowns.

Lady Mone told a YouTube documentary that she and her husband Doug Barrowman would be cleared, arguing they have “done nothing wrong”.

She had initially denied having any links to PPE Medpro but admits in the film: “I made an error in what I said to the press.

“I regret not saying to the press straight away, ‘Yes, I am involved.’ And the Government knew I was involved.”

The film, part of a public fightback, was funded by PPE Medpro, according to the Sunday Telegraph, which reported on the documentary.

She claimed it is “100% a lie” to suggest she was not transparent with officials, and the pair claimed a “DHSC negotiator” suggested the case could “go away” for the right sum.

Lady Mone, who was made a peer by Lord David Cameron in 2015, argued she is being used as a scapegoat by the Government for its own Covid failings.

“I am ashamed of being a Conservative peer given what this Government has done to us,” she told The Telegraph.

Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove, who allegedly had involvement in the contract process, insisted that “ministers did not take individual decisions” on pandemic contracts.

Mr Gove told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “Those decisions were taken after a painstaking process by teams of civil servants who assess the worthiness of any contract that’s put forward.

“So the suggestion, which some have put forward, that somehow ministers were seeking deliberately to do favours, or line the pockets of other individuals, I think is totally unjustified because the decisions were only taken after a proper, coherent and fair procurement process.

“As with any procurement process, might it sometimes be the case that the goods which have been bought turn out to not to be adequate – that is deeply regrettable but that is a consequence of what happened at pressure.”

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