‘Baroness Bra’ Tory peer Michelle Mone’s family ‘received £29m in profits from PPE firm she recommended to ministers’, leaked bank documents suggest
- Documents suggest profits from Medpro were transferred to an offshore trust
- Lady Mone and her children were beneficiaries of said trust, HSBC files suggest
- Tory peer has always insisted she never benefited financially from Medpro firm
A prominent Tory peer faced further questions last night after it was claimed she and her children received £29million in profits from a Covid equipment firm she had recommended to ministers.
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone is already under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards for allegedly failing to declare an interest in PPE Medpro and lobbying for it to receive government contracts.
The company – which received £200million in contracts to supply face masks and surgical gowns to the NHS through the Government’s ‘VIP’ lane for companies with political connections – is separately the subject of a fraud investigation.
The 51-year-old Conservative peer – nicknamed Baroness Bra – has always insisted she neither had any involvement in PPE Medpro nor benefited financially from it.
But last night The Guardian claimed leaked bank documents indicated huge amounts of its profits had been transferred by her then-fiance to an offshore trust of which Baroness Mone and her children were beneficiaries.
It claimed to have seen a report compiled by HSBC suggesting ‘large value inter-account transfers’ originating from PPE Medpro were being routed through offshore accounts belonging to Lady Mone’s partner Douglas Barrowman.
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone (pictured centre) is already under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards for allegedly failing to declare an interest in PPE Medpro and lobbying for it to receive government contracts
The Guardian claimed to have seen a report compiled by HSBC suggesting ‘large value inter-account transfers’ originating from PPE Medpro were being routed through offshore accounts belonging to Lady Mone’s partner Douglas Barrowman (pictured together)
The 51-year-old Conservative peer (pictured) – nicknamed Baroness Bra – has always insisted she neither had any involvement in PPE Medpro nor benefited financially from it
A yacht linked to former bra tycoon and Tory peer Michelle Mone put up for sale for £10.25 million in September – months after a multi-million-pound refit.
The 130ft vessel, Lady M, featured regularly as a glamorous backdrop on her Instagram page.
It has four guest cabins and room for six crew. Everything from the cream interiors and teak decking to the hull and navigational equipment was refurbished in May.
The yacht, said to be ‘phenomenal’ by sales agent Cecil Wright, is linked to PPE Medpro. It is still for sale on their website.
It is owned by a firm registered on the Isle of Man called L M Yachts, whose director is Anthony Page.
The employee of Knox House Trust, part of Mr Barrowman’s Isle of Man-based Knox Group, also owns PPE Medpro.
The sale comes after a turbulent year for the 50-year-old and her billionaire husband Doug Barrowman
In March, AML Tax (UK) Ltd, also part of Knox Group, was fined £150,000 for withholding records needed to calculate tax bills.
The Charity Commission recently opened a compliance case into the Barrowman Foundation.
Set up by Mr Barrowman in 2017 – with his wife as a trustee – it donates to the Prince’s Trust, but had not lodged any donations in its accounts.
In September 2020, he was said to have been paid at least £65million in ‘profits’ from the NHS deal into an Isle of Man trust. Transfers were then supposedly made to his personal HSBC Isle of Man bank account.
The following month that account is said to have transferred £28.8million to another entity called the Keristal Trust, which was set up by Mr Barrowman along with another individual linked to PPE Medpro and whose beneficiaries were Lady Mone and her children.
Smaller sums were also passed as ‘gifts’ to employees of Mr Barrowman’s financial services firm the Knox Group, it was claimed.
The HSBC report allegedly concluded the transfers ‘suggest a UK peer in the House of Lords has benefited from a contract with the UK government’ but did not conclude there had been any wrongdoing.
Mr Barrowman is said to have told the bank his wife had ‘no involvement’ in the PPE firm’s business activities and he had transferred its profits ‘in his personal capacity’.
Not long afterwards in November 2020, Lady Mone married Mr Barrowman at Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man before they enjoyed a honeymoon in the Maldives.
Last night a lawyer for Lady Mone declined to comment. A lawyer for Mr Barrowman and PPE Medpro said a continuing investigation limited what his clients were able to say in response to the allegations.
He told The Guardian: ‘For the time being we are also instructed to say that there is much inaccuracy in the portrayal of the alleged ”facts” and a number of them are completely wrong.’
HSBC said it could not confirm whether the couple had been clients of the bank.
It follows a turbulent year for Lady Mone which saw her home and offices raided by the National Crime Agency before she had to settle a racial abuse case at the High Court.
The NCA began investigating PPE Medpro in April this year after it was awarded two contracts worth £200 million to supply surgical gowns during the pandemic in 2020. They were never used after failing an inspection.
Four properties linked to the firm, including a £25 million Isle of Man home the pair owned, were raided by the NCA. The couple denied any wrongdoing.
The lingerie tycoon, who had founded the Ultimo brand which earned her the nickname Baroness Bra, was also said to have paid more than £50,000 in settling a civil claim brought by Monaco-based financial consultant Richard Lynton-Jones this summer.
She was accused of branding the man of Indian heritage a ‘waste of a white man’s skin’.
Lawyers for the Glasgow-born baroness said that when she made the comment in a WhatsApp message in 2019 she believed that Mr Lynton-Jones was ‘100 per cent white and British’ and that there was ‘no trace whatsoever of non-white colouring or any features’.
Last year the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation and in January Mr Lynton-Jones sued her for libel.
While the criminal investigation was dropped, Lady Mone settled the civil claim in August, which stemmed from a row over the death of a deckhand in 2019 while Lady Mone and Mr Lynton-Jones were staying on the French Riviera.
Lady Mone was on her billionaire husband Mr Barrowman’s super-yacht, Minx, while Mr Lynton-Jones was a guest on Vision, a super-yacht chartered by British internet gaming millionaire Richard Skelhorn.
Conservative peer Michelle Mone (pictured) this summer settled a High Court claim for racial abuse after calling a man of Indian heritage a ‘waste of a white man’s skin’
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone, who founded the Ultimo brand which earned her the nickname Baroness Bra, was said to have paid more than £50,000 in settling the claim brought by Monaco-based financial consultant Richard Lynton-Jones
Richard Lynton-Jones was reported to have received more than £50,000 in a civil case against Lady Mone
The two groups of passengers had sailed to the island of Ile Sainte-Marguerite for lunch, before rafting their yachts together, hopping on and off each other’s boats. But on the journey home, Vision accidentally ploughed into Mr Barrowman’s boat, striking and killing a British deckhand, 27-year-old Jake Feldwhere.
In a highly emotive group chat between passengers three weeks later, Lady Mone, 50, unleashed her fury on Mr Lynton-Jones.
She described him as a ‘waste of a man’s white skin’ – a phrase believed to have originated in South Africa in the 1940s.
Lady Mone also aimed her ire at Mr Lynton-Jones’s fiancee, calling her a ‘mental loony’ and ‘nut case bird’.
Mr Lynton-Jones, whose mother is believed to be of Indian heritage, demanded at least £200,000 in aggravated damages from Lady Mone.
He said: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong apart from be a victim of racism. Racism has no place in this society, let alone for a member of the House of Lords. That’s disgusting.’
Lady Mone’s lawyers at the time denied that she was racist. Her spokesman said: ‘Both parties have settled their differences on a no fault or damages basis in relation to the alleged racist claim and the matter is now concluded.’
From leaving school in Glasgow with no qualifications to modelling and business deals: How ‘Baroness Bra’ made her millions
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone was born in 1971 and grew up in Glasgow’s East End, leaving school with no qualifications aged 15 before finding work as a model.
After running a sales and marketing team for the Labatt’s brewing firm, she decided to create a range of support bras after the idea came to her while wearing an uncomfortable bra during a dinner party.
Lady Mone founded MJM International with her then-husband Michael Mone in November 1996, and three years of research, design, and development resulted in the patented Ultimo bra.
In August 1999, a month after having her third child, she launched Ultimo at the Selfridges department store in London, which sold the pre-launch estimate of six weeks of stock within 24 hours.
The business grew rapidly and in 2010 she earned an OBE from the Queen for her contribution to business.
But she sold 80 per cent of Ultimo in 2014, one year after announcing she had left the company following a breakdown in her marriage.
Lady Mone was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ after being elevated to the House of Lords in 2015, where her official title is Baroness Mone of Mayfair.
To celebrate her 50th birthday, she decided to host five parties – one for each decade of her life – with her new husband billionaire tech tycoon Doug Barrowman, 55.
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