Michelle Mone personally recommended a PPE company started by her husband’s employee
MPs today called on Michelle Mone and her billionaire husband to explain the ‘murky case’ of a £ 203million PPE government contract for a company set up by one of her employees – after that leaked texts have raised questions about his involvement in the deal.
Lingerie mogul Lady Mone, 50, has always maintained that she has no ‘role or function’ with PPE Medpro, a company formed two months after the first lockdown began.
She mentioned him as a potential supplier through Lord Agnew’s office and he was apparently rushed through the government’s so-called VIP fast lane.
It has won over £ 200million in government contracts to supply masks and surgical gowns.
But new WhatsApp texts that have emerged today seem to suggest she was involved in another capacity, despite her denials.
Tory colleague Michelle Mone and her billionaire husband (both pictured) faced new questions last night over their involvement in a £ 203million government contract for PPE at the start of the pandemic
Medpro was formed two months after the first foreclosure began with Anthony Page, a wealth management expert and long-time employee of Lady Mone’s husband, named 100% shareholder and director.
In June, after PPE Medpro won her first contract with DHSC, messages allegedly came from her in response to a request for information for “Lady Michelle”.
A response that would have been from him said, “We’re about to take off in the jet. The sizes are in order. We are waiting for the official PO, it should arrive today.
“They tell you not to start until you have this purchase order,” she wrote in The Guardian.
PPE Medpro features these products among the items it currently offers on its website
Government details show how Lady Mone referred PPE Medpro as a potential supplier
From Unskilled School Leaving In Glasgow To Modeling And Trade Deals: How ‘Baroness Bra’ Made Her Millions
Lingerie mogul Michelle Mone was born in 1971 and raised in Glasgow’s East End. She left school without a diploma at age 15 before finding work as a model.
After leading a sales and marketing team for the Labatt Brewery, she decided to create a line of supportive bras when the idea occurred to her while wearing an uncomfortable bra at a dinner party. .
Lady Mone founded MJM International with her then-husband Michael Mone in November 1996 and three years of research, design and development resulted in the patented Ultimo bra.
In August 1999, a month after having her third child, she launched Ultimo at Selfridges department store in London, which sold the pre-launch estimate of six weeks of stock in 24 hours.
The company grew rapidly and in 2010 was awarded an OBE from the Queen for her contribution to business.
But she sold 80% of Ultimo in 2014, a year after announcing she had left the company following the breakdown of her marriage.
Lady Mone was nicknamed “Baroness Bra” after being raised in the House of Lords in 2015, where her official title is Baroness Mone of Mayfair.
To celebrate her 50th birthday last month, she decided to throw five parties – one for each decade of her life – with her new husband, billionaire tech mogul Doug Barrowman, 55.
Christine Jardine, spokesperson for Lib Dem’s Treasury, said: “The stench of Tory Party filth and cronyism is unbearable now.
“There must be an independent investigation into these revelations.
“From questionable PPE contracts to Christmas parties, we just can’t trust conservative politicians to mark their own homework.
“Our taxes are about to be hiked to record highs, but millions of pounds of government contracts seem to end up with Conservative Party cronies.
It’s time to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
Lady Mone’s husband Doug Barrowman, a Isle of Man-based financier, may also have helped secure the deal with a company managing Medpro’s supply chain.
Medpro was created two months after the start of the first confinement with Anthony Page, an expert in wealth management.
Mr Page is also a long-time employee of Lady Mone’s husband and was named in the incorporation documents of the new company as a 100% shareholder and a director.
Documents from the companies also show that Mr Page previously served as a secretary at a management consulting firm called MGM Media, alongside director Lady Mone.
His role in this company ended on May 12, 2020 – the same day PPE Medpro was incorporated, with Mr. Page as director and secretary.
He is also a director of Knox House Trustees, of which Lady Mone’s husband, Mr Barrowman, is listed as a person of “significant influence or control”.
It is linked to the Knox Group, a tax advisory and wealth management firm headed by Mr. Barrowman.
Today MP Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, called for full details of what happened to be made public.
She added: “These latest reports suggest that hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer dollars ended up with a business closely linked to a Tory politician who personally referred it to a government minister.
“The Labor Party has repeatedly called for an investigation into the awarding of these contracts.
Pictured: Anthony Page, owner of PPE Medpro, circled at Lady Mone’s wedding in 2020
Lady Mone posted this image on her Instagram today. She captioned it: “I love to wear makeup to feel better, even if I don’t have an event… it makes me feel like I’m ready to face the day”
Met Police investigate ‘racist texts’, ‘madman’ claims and unfair severance pay: series of controversies Lady Mone faces
The entrepreneur, 50, is a well-known figure in the media but has faced a series of controversies over the years.
Met police officers are set to question her over a claim she sent a racist text message to an Indian-born financial consultant after a fatal yacht crash on the French Riviera.
Richard Lynton-Jones alleged Lady Mone racially assaulted him and called his partner a “mad bird” and “mentally insane” three weeks after a day of “drinking and partying”. She denies it.
In April last year, his former housekeeper won unfair dismissal compensation when she was dismissed from her post.
Deborah Wendy Lace was a longtime employee of Mone’s billionaire husband’s Isle of Man estate and was awarded £ 20,355 for wrongful dismissal.
In 2014, Scott Kilday, COO of Mone’s company, MJM International, won a wrongful dismissal lawsuit in 2014 after it emerged his office had been wiretapped and Mone had listened to the tapes at the look for signs of disloyalty.
“The public needs to know the truth about this murky affair, including the role of Baroness Mone and other conservative politicians.”
In fact, millions of medical gowns purchased by the NHS from PPE Medpro have never even been used.
At the time, they had to meet the British standard for sterilization of medical devices or what was called a “technical equivalent”.
If the equivalent was the target standard, the health regulator, the MHRA, had to approve them.
It publishes lists of current products that have benefited from its exemption for use.
Today, there was still no sign of Medpro PPE on the ‘List of Medical Devices with Exceptional Authorizations for Use’.
It was also not visible on the “List of medical devices no longer covered by an exceptional use authorization” or on any other update.
MailOnline has contacted Lady Mone’s lawyers to get a response on the new allegations.
They told The Guardian last night that she could not be expected to comment on “unknown and unattributable WhatsApp messages allegedly sent 19 months ago.”
They added, “We have no idea – and neither has our client – the content of the WhatsApp messages you are referring to, the recipients, the context and perhaps more importantly where they come from.”
Barrowman’s attorneys said the report amounted to “hanging on to straws” and was “grossly incorrect.”
They added, “Our client’s desire not to reveal private or confidential information should not be taken as an assumption that any of your statements or conclusions are correct or unchallenged.”