RISHI Sunak has addressed the Michelle Mone scandal when questioned by press during a visit to Scotland.

However, the Prime Minister largely declined to comment on allegations that Mone used the Tory government’s “VIP lane” for Covid contracts to enrich her family with public money.

Sunak was chancellor when Mone lobbied ministers including Michael Gove to award contracts to PPE Medpro, a firm which at the time did not even exist.

Companies House shows the firm, which is now being sued by the UK Government, was incorporated on May 12, four days after Gove was first approached by Mone.

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There is also an ongoing investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) into the PPE Medpro deal, amid which Mone is reported to be facing a criminal allegation of bribery.

Other allegations are linked to conspiracy to defraud and fraud by false representation, the Guardian reported.

When quizzed on the scandal during a visit to Moray on Monday, Sunak used the legal case and NCA probe as reasons not to comment.

He said: “A couple of things to say. First of all, this whole situation is subject to an ongoing criminal investigation but also the Government is taking action, legal action, against the company involved.

“So, there’s a limit to what I can say other than say we take all these things incredibly seriously. That’s why the government’s taking legal action and because there’s a criminal investigation ongoing obviously I can’t comment any further.”

The National: Baroness Mone’s interview has reignited the row over PPE procurement (PA)

Asked if it was acceptable for a Tory peer to lie to the media, as Mone (above) has admitted to doing, Sunak largely repeated himself.

He said: “What I’d say is the government takes these things incredibly seriously which is why they’re pursuing legal action against the company concerned in these matters. That’s how seriously I take it and the government takes it.

“It is also subject to an ongoing criminal investigation. Because of that there’s not much further that I can add.”

Sunak only allowed the media to ask five questions, two of which were on Mone, Sky's Connor Gillies reported.

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On Sunday, Mone’s first major broadcast interview since the scandal emerged saw her admit she did not tell the truth about her connection to PPE Medpro, while insisting that lying to the media was “not a crime”.

She also claimed she had not meant to “pull the wool over anyone’s eyes”.

A Tory minister said she should not return to the House of Lords.

“I think she should have declared her involvement in that in the House of Lords register, and there is guidance available for that,” energy efficiency minister Martin Callanan told Sky News.

“I would hope that she would not be coming back to the House of Lords.”

Mone, who was made a Conservative peer by David Cameron in 2015, has been on a leave of absence from the Lords and without the Tory whip since December 2022.