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Michelle Mone has assets frozen as criminal probe into PPE Medpro continues

Assets linked to Conservative peer and her husband have been frozen by the Crown Prosecution Service

Zoe Grunewald
Friday 26 January 2024 19:20 GMT
Michelle Mone and her husband are under investigation by the National Crime Agency
Michelle Mone and her husband are under investigation by the National Crime Agency (PA)

Assets linked to Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman have been frozen as part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into PPE firm Medpro.

In May 2021 the NCA launched an inquiry into “suspected criminal offences” committed in the procurement of PPE contracts by PPE Medpro, which is owned by a consortium led by Mr Barrowman.

Baroness Mone has since said she is being “treated like Pablo Escobar” after having her bank accounts frozen.

According to the Financial Times, around £75m of assets, including a townhouse in Belgravia and an estate on the Isle of Man, have either been frozen or restrained following an application by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Some 15 bank accounts at Coutts, C Hoare & Co and Goldman Sachs International are also said to have been affected by the move.

Doug Barrowman, the husband of Mone, said he had received death threats over the PPE procurement row (PA)

Back in 2022, the UK government sued PPE Medpro for breach of contract, claiming that £122m worth of protective gowns the company had supplied were of insufficient quality. PPE Medpro has denied that the goods were faulty and is contesting the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for the couple said the assets freeze “comes as a result of a consensual process during which negotiations took place with the CPS”, adding that it “allows the wider businesses and assets of the Barrowman family to operate normally and free from any restrictions or uncertainties”.

The spokesperson added: “Doug and Michelle did not contest the application and were happy to offer up these assets, which means they can begin the task of proving their innocence more quickly.

“Mr Barrowman finds it deplorable that private matters such as this are being conducted in the public realm via leaks from government departments and the CPS.”

Barrowman has since released a statement on social media regarding his involvement with PPE Medpro (PA)

Baroness Mone has previously admitted that she lied when she denied having connections to the company, which was awarded contracts worth more than £200m to supply gowns and masks.

The Scottish businesswoman was appointed to the Lords back in 2015 after the then prime minister David Cameron was impressed by her support for the union in the Scottish independence referendum. She was also the founder of a lingerie business, Ultimo.

A former Scotland secretary has since accused Lord Cameron of breaching “proper process” when he gave the then Ms Mone a peerage in 2015.

David Cameron has been accused of breaching ‘proper process’ when he awarded Mone a peerage (PA Wire)

David Mundell, a Conservative MP and a former secretary of state for Scotland, said Lord Cameron had given Ms Mone a position in the House of Lords without consulting the government’s Scotland Office – a procedure that is standard practice before awarding peerages to Scots.

Mr Mundell said there was some opposition to Lady Mone’s appointment among Scottish business people, but that he was not given the usual opportunity to discuss his concerns with Downing Street.

The lingerie entrepreneur stands to benefit from £60m in PPE Medpro profits that have been placed in a trust by her husband.

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