THE Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her children reportedly received £29 million from the profits of a PPE business which was awarded large government contracts after she recommended it to ministers.

The Guardian reports that Mone, originally from the East End of Glasgow, helped support the company PPE Medpro to gain a place in the “VIP lane” which the UK Government used during the pandemic to prioritise companies which had political connections.

The newspaper said it had seen documents which indicate tens of millions of pounds of PPE Medpro’s profits were later transferred to a secret offshore trust of which Mone and her adult children benefited from.

Asked by The Guardian a year ago why PPE Medpro was not declared in Mone’s financial interests, her lawyer said: “Baroness Mone did not declare any interest as she did not benefit financially and was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity.”

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The leaked documents, produced by the bank HSBC, reportedly contradict that statement.

They show that Mone’s husband, Douglas Barrowman, was paid a minimum of £65m in profits from PPE Medpro and then distributed these funds through a series of offshore accounts, trusts and companies.

The eventual recipient of the funds, according to the documents, include an Isle of Man trust which was set up to benefit Mone, who was Barrowman’s fiancée at the time, and her children.

The documents add that, in October 2020, he transferred £28.8m to the trust which originated from PPE Medpro profits.

This came just five months after Mone helped the PPE company secure contracts to supply both face masks and sterile gowns for use in the NHS.

HSBC told the newspaper it was unable to comment, even to confirm if the couple had been among its clients.

A lawyer for Mone said: “There are a number of reasons why our client cannot comment on these issues and she is under duty to do so.”

A lawyer representing both Barrowman and PPE Medpro said that a continuing investigation limited what they were able to say.

However, they did add: “For the time being we are also instructed to say there is much inaccuracy in the portrayal of the alleged ‘facts’ and a number of them are completely wrong.”

Mone, 51, and Barrowman, 57, have both repeatedly said they had no “involvement” in Medpro and “no role” in the process through which the company was awarded government contracts.

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PPE Medpro itself has also refused to identify its backers, although denied it was awarded contracts because of “company or personal connections to either the UK Government or the Conservative Party.  

David Cameron appointed Mone the baroness of Mayfair in 2015. She is the former owner of a lingerie business.

The leaked documents setting out the bank’s understanding of the offshore distribution of Medpro’s profits were produced by the bank, which held several accounts linked to the Tory peer.

Following the report, the SNP has said that independence for Scotland is the only way to escape the economic mismanagement of Westminster.

Other Tory figures linked to Covid contracts include Michael Gove who referred a firm run by a Tory donor which went on to secure contracts worth nearly £50m.

The SNP’s Cabinet Office spokesperson Brendan O’Hara said: “The Tory Government’s approach of handling multi-billion-pound Covid contracts has been driven by rampant cronyism.

“It has been nothing more than a scandal that has seen staggering sums of money find their way into the pockets of the Tories’ pals without scrutiny.

“Cronyism, sleaze and corruption continues to thrive under this Westminster Tory government. As does the House of Lords, stuffed with over 800 unelected peers.

“Independence for Scotland is the only way we can truly uphold democracy and escape Westminster governments we don’t vote for, and their economic mismanagement.”

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The Guardian write that HSBC launched its own investigation following reports about Mone’s links to PPE Medpro.

However, a report produced by the bank on the couple stated that it did “not manage to corroborate” those concerns.

The bank’s investigation did note that “large value inter-account transfers” originating from PPE Medpro were being routed through offshore accounts, often crediting and debiting within minutes of each other.

The internal bank report described the flow of money as “unusual activity”, noting a concern that Barrowman “may be attempting to conceal the true origins of the funds through multiple layers of transactions creating a distance between the receipt of PPE funds and the final beneficiaries.”

In reference to Mone, it stated that the transfers “suggest a UK peer in the House of Lords has benefited from a contract with the UK Government”.

It is believed that Barrowman told HSBC his wife had “no involvement” in the business activities of PPE Medpro, and that the onward transfers of its profits via his personal bank account had been made “in his personal capacity”.

The bank was unable to corroborate any concerns of wrongdoing by the couple, although it did identify a number of “risks” relating to retaining Barrowman and Mone as clients.

A government spokesperson said: “We have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect health and social care staff on the frontline, with over 23.2 billion PPE items delivered so far.

“We are currently engaged in a mediation process with PPE Medpro and are unable to comment on the specifics of this contract.”