Michelle Mone Takes ‘Leave Of Absence’ From House Of Lords Amid PPE Allegations
Tory peer Michelle Mone is taking a “leave of absence” from the House of Lords to “clear her name”.
Baroness Mone is fighting allegations surrounding her links to a firm awarded contracts for personal protective equipment [PPE] during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It comes as the Labour Party prepared to force the government to release records relating to the award of contracts to PPE Medpro.
Reports – denied by Lady Mone – suggested the peer may have profited from PPE Medpro winning public contracts worth more than £200 million to supply equipment after she recommended it to ministers in the early days of the pandemic.
The peer, who founded lingerie firm Ultimo, claims the accusations have been “unjustly” levelled against her.
A statement released by her office said: “With immediate effect, Baroness Mone will be taking a leave of absence from the House of Lords in order to clear her name of the allegations that have been unjustly levelled against her.”
It means she will not attend sittings of the House, vote on any proceedings, and will not be able to claim any allowance.
Labour will present a humble address motion later on Tuesday to force a binding Commons vote to secure the release of documents relating to the contracts.
The Lords standards watchdog is investigating Baroness Mone over her alleged involvement in procuring contracts for PPE Medpro, although this has been paused “while the matter is under investigation by the police or another agency as part of a criminal investigation”.
The Guardian newspaper last week reported that the Tory peer and her children received £29 million originating from profits of the company.
Lady Mone has consistently denied any “role or function” in the company, and her lawyers have previously said she is “not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity”.
The government has also come under fire for the use of “VIP lanes”, whereby preferential treatment for public contracts can be given to organisations recommended by MPs and peers.