NEWLY released documents show that Michael Gove was involved in the negotiations through which a PPE company affiliated with Tory peer Michelle Mone managed to secure lucrative government contracts.

The documents show private emails being used for governmental business and link Gove to the PPE Medpro scandal – a company that was awarded £203 million worth of contracts after Mone referred it to the Cabinet Office in May 2020.

The deal allowed PPE Medpro to sell millions of units of medical supplies, such as masks and surgical gowns, to the Government in the initial stages of the pandemic, after the company was fast-tracked through the "VIP lane" for politically-connected companies.

The emails, published by the Guardian, show Mone writing to Theodore Agnew at the apparent request of the Levelling Up Secretary, with the subject line "Face masks protection against coronavirus". 

Agnew is a British businessman, Conservative life peer and former minister of atate at the Cabinet Office and Treasury. Mone wrote: "Michael Gove has asked me to urgently contact you."

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She went on: "We have managed to source PPE masks through my team in Hong Kong. They have managed to secure 100,000pcs per day of KN95 which is equivalent to N95 or FFP2.

"In order to commit to this 100,000pcs per day could you please get back to me asap as freight will also need to be secured.

"Hope to see you in The House of Lords when we get out of lockdown.

"Kindest Regards, Michelle."

Sent on May 8, 2020, Mone's email was responded to by Agnew on the same day. He wrote back: "Thank you for your kind offer. I am forwarding this onto the appropriate PPE workstream with Dept of Health.

"They will ask you some basic questions on the details of the offer and then hopefully progress it from there.

"Best wishes, Theodore."

Two weeks after the exchange, PPE Medpro was awarded two contracts worth £203m. Mone has since denied her connection with the company, with her lawyers stating she "was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity" and accusing the Guardian's reporting as being "not based on accuracy".

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They also said Mone's relationship with PPE Medpro and the contracts was nothing more than a "very simple, solitary and brief step" in "referring the company to the office of Lord Agnew".

But, the leaked emails show Mone had already been in contact with Gove about the contract prior to contacting Agnew through his private email address.

The PPE supplier is also not named by Mone, rather referred to as "my team", but at the time of the email, Medpro had not yet been formally registered as a company. PPE Medpro was then incorporated five days after Mone emailed Agnew.

According to the Guardian, Agnew declined to comment on the emails, citing the defence that he'd recently been interviewed by the Lords Commissioner for Standards on the same subject and had been requested to keep his evidence confidential.

Gove also reportedly declined to comment, including the question on why he was Mone's initial port of call in the exchange.

One of Mone's lawyers reported there was "nothing new" or "sinister" in the leaked emails, and criticised the Guardian for having a "deliberate and vexatious interpretation of them, characterising them in a wholly negative manner".