Michelle Mone clapped for the NHS while allegedly lobbying for PPE deals worth £200million

PPE row Baroness Michelle Mone posted weekly videos clapping for the NHS while allegedly offering to supply face masks via the “ Tory VIP lane”.

Leaked documents suggest an offshore trust linked to Baroness Mone received £29million which seem to have originated as profits from more than £200million in PPE deals she promoted through the Government’s VIP lane, according to the Guardian.

You are reading: Michelle Mone clapped for the NHS while allegedly lobbying for PPE deals worth £200million

HSBC bank documents leaked to the newspaper allegedly show that £65million in profits from the PPE deal was paid into a trust benefitting Mone’s husband Doug Barrowman in September 2020.

It is claimed that £45.8million was then transferred out of The Warren Trust to Barrowman’s personal bank account, before £28.8million was transferred in October 2020 to a second trust, called Keristal Trust, which allegedly has Mone and her children as beneficiaries.

Under the hashtag “#thankyounhs”, Mone posted weekly clapping videos on Instagram through April and May 2020 stating: “Thank you for everything you have done and are doing at this time to keep us all safe and going.”

Michelle Mone and partner Doug Barrowman clapping for carers in an Instagram video posted on May 21, 2020
Michelle Mone and partner Doug Barrowman clapping for carers in an Instagram video posted on May 21, 2020 (Image: UGC)

At the same time, Mone was lobbying the Government over the PPE deals, which she failed to declare in the House of Lord register of interests.

Her lawyer has insisted this was because “she did not benefit financially and was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity”.

The bank account for the Keristal Trust, the leaks reveal, was opened in May 2020, at the height of the first lockdown, while the couple joined millions of others clapping for the NHS every Thursday.

That same month, Mone had told then Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove that she could help with the PPE crisis facing the NHS.

Michelle Mone and her partner in 2020, clapping again for healthcare workers
Michelle Mone and her partner in 2020, clapping again for healthcare workers (Image: UGC)

Gove, now Levelling Up Secretary, told Sky News yesterday he passed on her contact details “as I did with lots of people”.

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One video, posted on May 7, shows the couple in front of Barrowman’s nine-bedroom Isle of Man mansion. The following day, Mone contacted fellow Tory peer Theodore Agnew, the minister in charge of procurement, by private email, copying in Gove.

She offered to supply large quantities of PPE face masks, saying they could be sourced through “my team in Hong Kong”.

Four days later on May 12, Anthony Page, who had been the company secretary of Mone’s company MGM Media, managing her “brand”, helped set up PPE Medpro Limited, the company which would go on to win the £203million of Covid contracts for face masks and gowns.

That same day was International Nurses Day and Mone posted on Instagram: “I’d just like to thank each and everyone of you that have served our NHS past and present, you all do such an incredible job. Thank you.”

On May 28, Mone posted the final clapping video and wrote: “Although this is our last Thursday evening clapping for the NHS, I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we will never forget how you and all our key workers went above and beyond to make sure our country carried on.”

In one post, Mone said "I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we will never forget how you and all our key workers went above and beyond to make sure our country carried on.”
In one post, Mone said “I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we will never forget how you and all our key workers went above and beyond to make sure our country carried on.” (Image: UGC)

By the end of June, PPE Medpro had secured both Department of Health contracts.

Leaked WhatsApp messages allegedly show Mone replying to questions from someone in the supply chain asking about the sizes of the surgical gowns: “We are just about to take off in the jet. The sizes are in the order.

“We are waiting for the official [purchase order], this should come in today.” Mone’s lawyers later said she could not comment on “unknown and unattributable WhatsApp messages”.

In October 2020, our sister paper the Mirror first revealed the links between Mone and PPE Medpro.

Her office said: “Baroness Mone has no comment as she has no role or involvement in PPE Medpro. Mr Barrowman is also not involved in the company PPE Medpro and is not a director or shareholder.”

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It supplied a quote from Mone, saying: “Well done to PPE Medpro in supplying vital equipment to the NHS to fight this dreadful virus!”

The National Crime Agency is investigating the PPE Medpro deal and in April raided the Isle of Man mansion and other properties, including their London home.

Asked about the latest allegations of payments to her and Barrowman, a lawyer for Mone told the Guardian: “There are a number of reasons why our client cannot comment on these issues and she is under no duty to do so.”

The newspaper was told “there is much inaccuracy in the portrayal of the alleged ‘facts’ and a number of them are completely wrong”.

Mone is facing a separate investigation by the Lords Commissioner for Standards into whether she breached conduct rules by failing to register an interest in the company and by lobbying for it to get Government contracts. She denies wrongdoing.

Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner told the Commons yesterday that the profits were “made possible through the company’s personal connections to Tory ministers and the Tory VIP lane”.

Health minister Neil O’Brien said that only 10 per cent of VIP lane bids were successful.

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