Michelle Mone, a Tory peer, received £29 million from a VIP PPE company’s profits in secret.

Michelle Mone, a Tory peer, received £29 million from a VIP PPE company's profits in secret.

Michelle Mone, a Tory peer, received £29 million from a VIP PPE company’s profits in secret. According to records obtained by the Guardian, the Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her kids earned £29 million in cash from a PPE company that she recommended to ministers and which went on to gain significant government contracts.

With Lady Mone’s assistance, PPE Medpro was able to enter a “VIP lane” during the coronavirus pandemic that gave priority to businesses with strong political ties. The company afterward won more than £200 million in contracts.

According to documents obtained by the Guardian, PPE Medpro’s revenues totaled tens of millions of pounds, and these funds were then transferred to a clandestine offshore trust, of which Mone and her adult children were the beneficiaries.

When the Guardian asked Mone’s attorney last year why she had omitted PPE Medpro from her House of Lords register of financial interests, Mone’s attorney responded, “Baroness Mone did not declare any interest as she did not profit financially and was not affiliated to PPE Medpro in any way.”

That assertion seems to be in conflict with the records that were released and created by the bank HSBC. They claim that Mone’s spouse, banker Douglas Barrowman of the Isle of Man, received at least £65 million in profits from PPE Medpro and dispersed the money through a network of offshore accounts, trusts, and businesses.

The documents state that one of the eventual beneficiaries of the money is the Isle of Man trust that was established to help Barrowman’s fiancée Mone.

HSBC investigation

The bank, which maintained multiple accounts connected to the Tory peer, her husband, and her children, furnished the documents that were released and outline its understanding of the offshore distribution of PPE Medpro’s revenues.

The Guardian knows that HSBC opened its own inquiry as a result of media allegations regarding Mone’s alleged connections to PPE Medpro, which could have caused the bank some anxiety. According to a report by HSBC, the couple’s connections to PPE Medpro “did not manage to confirm” those worries.

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HSBC investigation

The bank, which maintained multiple accounts connected to the Tory peer, her husband, and her children, furnished the documents that were released and outline its understanding of the offshore distribution of PPE Medpro’s revenues.

The Guardian knows that HSBC opened its own inquiry as a result of media allegations regarding Mone’s alleged connections to PPE Medpro, which could have caused the bank some anxiety. According to a report by HSBC, the couple’s connections to PPE Medpro “did not manage to confirm” those worries.

Message and money trails

For a long time, Mone and Barrowman have maintained their denial of any participation with PPE Medpro or any part in the procedure by which it received government contracts. The couple does appear to have been active in the business, as the Guardian has confirmed over the past two years in a number of instances.

Prior to PPE Medpro being officially incorporated as a firm, the Tory peer addressed ministers for the first time in May 2020. She used their personal email addresses to get in touch with Theodore Agnew, a minister for procurement at the time, and Michael Gove, a Cabinet Office minister at the time.

Mone informed her colleague’s Conservative politicians that “my team in Hong Kong” might be used to purchase significant amounts of PPE.

Honeymoon period

While neither of them has expressly disputed that he received financial support from PPE Medpro, Barrowman has constantly distanced himself from it. Barrowman’s attorneys have previously argued that he was never an “investor” in PPE Medpro.

The HSBC report that was leaked, however, claims that a different Barrowman trust in the Isle of Man invested £3 million in PPE Medpro in June 2020 under the reference “PPE Transfer.” The investigation claims that PPE Medpro later returned the £3 million capital infusion back into Barrowman’s trust along with interest.

When asked about whether Barrowman had invested in the business this week, PPE Medpro declined to comment, citing an ongoing inquiry. In addition, Barrowman declined to speak more, citing ongoing investigations, although his attorney claimed that Barrowman disagrees with the Guardian’s “claims and charges”.

Barrowman will now be under pressure to explain how he was able to transmit at least £65 million in PPE Medpro revenues to his wife and her children through offshore payments.

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