Tory peer denies being racist after alleged abusive message to man of Indian heritage

Michelle Mone allegedly sent the message in a Whatsapp exchange about a Monaco yacht crash that killed a crew worker

Holly Bancroft
Friday 03 December 2021 13:39 GMT
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone , was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ after she was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015.
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone , was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ after she was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015. (Rex Features)

Conservative peer Michelle Mone has denied being racist after she was accused of calling a man of Indian heritage a ‘waste of man’s white skin’ in a Whatsapp exchange.

The message was allegedly sent in June 2019 during a disagreement about a fatal yacht crash off the coast of Monaco.

It was part of series of messages, seen by The Guardian newspaper, which are reported to be between entrepreneur Michelle Mone and an unidentified man of Indian heritage.

The paper reported that the exchanges have been sent to the House of Lords commissioner for standards as part of a formal complaint.

In the messages, it is alleged that Michelle Mone describes the man’s partner as a “mental loony” and a “nut case bird” for making claims about being traumatised by the yacht incident.

A representative of the Conservative peer responded to the reports by saying: “Baroness Mone is 100 per cent not a racist. Baroness Mone and her husband have built over 15 schools in Africa in the past three years.”

Lingerie Tycoon Michelle Mone was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015, a year after she sold 80 per cent of her bra business Ultimo. Originally from the East end of Glasgow, she earned an OBE in 2010 for her contribution to business.

Her yacht, Minx, which she owns with her billionaire husband Douglas Barrowman, was involved in a crash in May 2019. The man who has made the complaint against Mone claims that he and his partner were guests on another yacht, Vision, which crashed into the Minx off the coast of Monaco.

The messages between the pair were allegedly sent in the weeks after the boat crash in May 2019.

Her lawyers said that Michelle Mone has no “detailed memory of them”. They added: “She is not prepared to comment on the messages unless and until their authenticity has been confirmed but Baroness Mone, in any event, very strongly denies that she is a racist, a sexist or that she has a lack of respect for those persons genuinely suffering with mental health difficulties.”

They also said that, at the time, Michelle Mone had no knowledge that the complainant “was anything other than white British, as his appearance is 100 per cent white, with a cut-glass English accent.” The statement said that it was “as illogical as it is inconceivable that she could or would have made such a comment or made it with the slightest racist intent.”

The complainant, who describes his appearance as brown-skinned, alleged that Michelle Mone had queried whether his partner had genuinely suffered after the yacht accident.

Michelle Mone allegedly sent a message saying that the woman had been partying “only a few days after”. The man then reportedly replied to this saying that his partner had been seriously traumatised and told Mone: “I would prefer you back the f*** off”.

According to reports, the Conservative peer then replied saying “you and your mental loony of a girlfriend have been parting [sic] like made!”. She continued: “Your [sic] a low life, a waste of mans [sic] white skin so don’t give us your lies.”

Representatives of Michelle Mone have been approached for comment.

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