For the first time, Doug Barrowman, the husband of Michelle Mone, a former Conservative peer, has admitted that he profited millions of pounds from two PPE deals during the Covid pandemic. This is the story’s backdrop.

Doug Barrowman and Michelle Mone: who are they?

The 52-year-old Mone rose to fame, especially in her home country of Scotland, as the founder of the lingerie and bra brand Ultimo, which she founded alongside her former spouse Michael Mone. In 2015, David Cameron nominated her to the House of Lords as a Conservative.

The couple’s original wedding in Westminster’s historic parliamentary chapel, St. Mary Undercroft, was called off due to Covid pandemic restrictions. Instead, they were married on the Isle of Man in November 2020.

Which PPE transactions did the couple engage in?

In May and June 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care awarded two contracts totaling £203 million to PPE Medpro Ltd, a recently established business. The government paid £122 million for the supply of 25 million sterile surgical gowns and £80.85 million for 210 million face masks.

 The contracts were handled through the “VIP lane,” which prioritized and expedited PPE offers from businesses that were referred by individuals with government connections.

 What statements about their involvement has the couple made in the past?

Although PPE Medpro was obviously connected to Barrowman’s Knox group, Mone and Barrowman vehemently denied any involvement when the contracts were made public in the fall of 2020 and in response to inquiries from the Guardian.

 Three different legal firms representing Mone, Barrowman, and the company alternately used the language of strong legal threats to vehemently deny that Mone was “connected in any way” to the company. In December 2020, a legal professional stated that it would be “inaccurate,” “misleading,” and “defamatory” to “suggest an association” between Mone and PPE Medpro.”You have now been placed on notice on numerous occasions regarding our client’s position with regard to PPE Medpro,” stated another in February 2022. She is not associated with the company.

Regarding their involvement and those denials, what are they saying now?

Mone and Barrowman are now acknowledging publicly that they were involved in the business. Mone keeps hammering home the point that she was heavily involved.

The couple’s representative first admitted to being involved in November, according to the Guardian, but he would not say why they had denied it for years. They admitted their involvement this week in their first broadcast interviews.

Mone acknowledged lying to the media in a Sunday interview with Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC. She expressed regret, but explained that she hadn’t done it to “pull the wool over anyone’s eyes,” but rather to shield her family from media attention. She went on, “That’s not a

offense, Laura. Declaring “I’m not involved” to the media in order to protect my family. Let me be clear: this is not illegal.

What was the couple’s profit margin on the PPE deals?

The Guardian revealed in November 2022 that HSBC had leaked documents proving Barrowman received at least £65 million from PPE Medpro’s earnings. According to the documents, Barrowman subsequently gave £29 million to the Keristal Trust, an offshore trust that benefited Mone and her three adult children.

Barrowman stated in the interview with Kuenssberg that the business achieved “a return on its investment of about, realistically, about 30%,” or roughly £61 million. Both he and Mone agreed that funds were subsequently moved to the Keristal Trust, which she and her kids were beneficiaries of. It is unclear when Barrowman’s children were added to the list of beneficiaries, despite their claims to the contrary.

Which allegations are being looked into by the National Crime Agency?

According to the NCA, which looks into organized and serious crime, it has been looking into “suspected criminal offences committed in the procurement of PPE contracts by PPE Medpro” since May 2021.

In a video that was paid for by PPE Medpro and released on YouTube on Sunday, December 10th, the film’s presenter, Mark Williams-Thomas, revealed that they were being accused of bribery, fraud by false representation, and conspiracy to defraud. The video included the first broadcast interviews with Mone and Barrowman. They disavow any misconduct.

Why is the government suing the business in addition?

The DHSC is suing PPE Medpro to recover additional expenses and storage fees in addition to the £122 million it paid for the gowns under the second contract. The government claims the gowns were dangerous for NHS healthcare workers to wear, and they were returned after inspection upon arrival in the UK. The gowns were made in China, and Barrowman and the company are defending the case by saying that they passed inspections and were appropriate for their intended use before being shipped.


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