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by Alain Tolhurst
06 December 2022
Michelle Mone taking leave of absence from House of Lords

Michelle Mone was admitted to the Lords as Baroness Mone of Mayfair

Michelle Mone taking leave of absence from House of Lords

Conservative peer Michelle Mone is to take a leave of absence from the House of Lords with immediate effect following allegations over her connection to PPE contracts.

The Scottish peer is at the centre of controversy over her alleged connections to a firm which was awarded a UK Government PPE contract during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The accusations include that she made £29m after recommending the firm PPE Medpro to Conservative ministers. 

A spokesperson for Baroness Mone 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."

Later today, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner will try to force the government to release records of a £200m contract awarded to PPE Medpro. Mone has previously denied links to the company.

Speaking to the BBC, Rayner accused members of the Tory party of using the pandemic as an "opportunity" to "get rich", and described the so-called VIP lane which some firms used as "a scandal of epic proportions".

This afternoon Rayner will lead a Commons debate known as a humble address motion in a bid to secure the release of all documents relating to PPE Medpro, which included the award of a £122m contract for gowns that "could not be used”, as well as £700,000 of "taxpayers' money" being used per day on storing it.

"This looks very dodgy – people making huge sums of money on PPE that couldn't be used," Rayner said. "It needs to be exposed now. Those documents need to come out and it needs to be out in the open."

According to The Times, Tory MPs have been told that the government will not attempt to vote down Labour's humble address on the topic, meaning that the motion will pass unopposed in the Commons.

Mone has insisted she had nothing to do with the firm and did not lobby for it, but it has since been claimed she contacted Gove and Lord Agnew, who was a Cabinet Office minister at the time.

Yesterday the former health secretary Matt Hancock claimed in his diaries that the peer, who is currently under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards over the matter, sent him an "extraordinarily aggressive email" on behalf of PPE Medpro.

Read more from our sister website, PoliticsHome

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