A petition signed by more than 130 thousand people has backed a call on Baroness Michelle Mone to be kicked out of the House of Lords and repay taxpayer money. This comes after leaked documents revealed her alleged links to an offshore trust that includes profits that appear to be linked to Covid-19 PPE equipment that led to her taking a leave of absence.
Information suggests that the trust holds more than £200 million which was alleged to have been made through deals after Baroness Mone promoted a company called Medpro through what the then government labelled as the ‘VIP fast track lane’ - which was subsequently ruled unlawful by the High Court in January.
Some of the protection gear provided by Medprop was later found to be faulty and deemed unfit for purpose. Medpro, which was the company that Michelle Mone recommended to the government, insisted the products passed technical inspections and met contractual requirements.
It is claimed that a percentage of the profits from the deal, which totals around £28.8 million out of £65 million, was moved by Mone’s husband, the Isle of Man-based financier Douglas Barrowman,to a number of trusts including one called Keristal in October 2020. Allegedly, this trust has the Glasgow-born Tory and her children as beneficiaries.
Mone and husband Douglas Barrowman has repeatedly denied having had any involvement in PPE Medpro and both have insisted they were not part of any process concerning how the company was awarded PPE government contracts.
As a result of the reports, a petition has been created on 38 Degrees which has currently accumulated well-over 130,000signatures. It demands that Baroness Mone is immediately removed from the House of Lords, as well as to repay the £29 million of profits she is alleged to have received from the PPE offshore trust.
In a statement, the campaigns manager at 38 Degrees, Jonathan Harty said: “The idea a Conservative peer could be feathering her own nest on the backs of a contract that failed to deliver the vital PPE our essential workers needed is sickening. If Baroness Mone used her position to make millions of pounds for herself, she should not only lose her seat in the Lords, she should have to pay back every penny.”
According to reports, Michelle Mone’s lawyer has denied that the baroness has benefited financially from Covid-19 PPE deals. In a statement, they said: “Baroness Mone is working with her legal team on this witch-hunt.”
Nevertheless, Baroness Mone has requested a leave of absence from the House of Lords following the allegations. It means she would not attend sittings of the House, vote on any proceedings or be able to claim any allowance.
Who is Michelle Mone and what is her net-worth?
Michelle Georgina Mone OBE is a business entrepreneur and Conservative peer in the House of Lords. The baroness was born in Dennistoun, Glasgow.
She famously founded lingerie company Ultimo in 1996, as well as MJM International Ltd with her now ex-husband Michael Mone. In 2014, Baroness Mone sold her 80% stake in the company, which later went bust in 2018.
In 2018, Ms Mone launched two businesses in the form of mentoring and lifestyle app, Connect 2 Michelle Mone. In the same year, it was revealed that Baroness Mone’s absence rate from the House of Lords was 88%, attending just 19 days out of 157 in total.
Michelle Mone’s exact net-worth is not known exactly. It has been reported to be in the region of £20 million, though Celebrity Net Worth value the 51-year-old’s assets at $120 million.