Baroness Mone is absent from the House of Lords to “clear her name” as she faces allegations about links to the company that won the PPE contract during the pandemic
- Baroness Mone has said she is taking a “leave of absence” from the House of Lords.
- Fellow Tory vowed to clear her name after allegations over company’s PPE contract
- He will not participate in the sessions of the Lords or in the voting while he is on leave of absence.
Baroness Mone is taking a “leave of absence” from the House of Lords as she faces claims over links to a company that won a PPE contract during Covid.
The Conservative parliamentarian temporarily departs from the Upper House with immediate effect “to clear her name of the accusations that have been unfairly made.”
Lady Mone is under investigation by the House of Lords Standards Commissioners for allegedly failing to declare an interest in PPE firm Medpro, which won a £200m government contract at the height of the pandemic.
Baroness Mone is taking ‘leave of absence’ from the House of Lords as she faces claims over links to a company that won a PPE contract during the pandemic
Hancock criticizes Baroness Mone’s ‘aggressive’ lobbying
Matt Hancock has claimed he felt pressured by Michelle Mone’s ‘extraordinarily aggressive’ lobbying to try to help a company win a contract to supply Covid lateral flow tests.
In his explosive Pandemic Diaries, the former health secretary accuses the Tory pair of sending him a ‘threatening’ message complaining that the company he was helping had failed to secure a lucrative deal.
Mr Hancock says in his book, which is serialized in The Mail+ and the Daily Mail, that by the end of the email she had “gone completely frenzied” and was launching “outlandish accusations”.
A spokesperson for Lady Mone said: “With immediate effect, Baroness Mone will be absent from the House of Lords to clear her name of the charges that have been unfairly leveled against her.”
The leave of absence means the colleague, known as a ‘Baroness Bra’ because she made her fortune from a lingerie brand, will not attend House sessions, vote in any proceedings and will not be able to claim any allowances.
The news came as the Labor Party launched a bid to force the government to release records of a £200m contract awarded to PPE Medpro.
The Guardian newspaper reported last week that the fellow Conservative and her children received £29m from the company’s profits.
Lady Mone has always denied any ‘role or function’ in the company, and her lawyers have previously said that she is ‘not connected to PPE Medpro in any way’.
A House of Lords spokesman said: ‘Baroness Mone has indicated that she intends to apply for a leave of absence from the House of Lords.
‘Members apply for leave of absence in writing to the Secretary of Parliaments. In doing so, they must confirm when they intend to return to the Chamber.
‘The Secretary will make a decision upon receipt of the formal request and after consulting with others as necessary.’
A humble motion was tabled today to force a binding Commons vote that would ensure the publication of documents relating to the contracts.
Conservative MPs are not expected to be ordered to oppose the motion, which will require details of the contracts to be handed over to the Commons Public Accounts Committee.
Labor MP Angela Rayner accused the Conservatives of using the pandemic as an “opportunity” to “get rich”, while calling for the release of PPE contracts.
Ms Rayner told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that Conservative ministers, parliamentarians and colleagues have recommended companies like PPE Medpro during the pandemic, giving them “preferential treatment” and “fast track”.
She described the so-called VIP lane as “a scandal of epic proportions.”
She said the company was awarded a £122m contract for gowns that were “unwearable” and now £700,000 of “taxpayers’ money” a day is wasted storing unusable PPE . The company has denied that the kit was faulty.
Ms Rayner added: ‘This seems very dubious – people making big money on PPE that can’t be worn. It needs to be exposed now. Those documents must come to light and must be in plain sight.
Labor (pictured deputy leader Angela Rayner) launched a bid to force the government to release records of a £200m contract awarded to PPE Medpro