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“Sick of being ripped off by the Tories:” Labour tries to force release of records on Michelle Mone connection to PPE Medpro contracts

Personal protective equipment (Victoria Jones/PA)
Personal protective equipment (Victoria Jones/PA)

Labour will try to force the Government to release records relating to the “murky” award of Covid personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts to a company linked to a Conservative peer.

It comes after reports suggested that Baroness Michelle Mone 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.

Labour will present a humble address motion on Tuesday to force a binding Commons vote to secure the release of documents relating to the contracts to the Public Accounts Committee.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner urged Conservative MPs to back the vote or be “complicit in a cover-up” of “inexcusable profiteering by Tory cronies”.

The Lords standards watchdog is investigating Baroness Mone over her alleged involvement in procuring contracts for PPE Medpro.

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.

Ms Rayner said: “Britain is sick of being ripped off by the Tories. We want our money back.

“Tory MPs can either back Labour’s binding vote to force ministers to come clean on the murky award of £203 million in taxpayers’ money to a shady company linked to a Tory peer or they are choosing to be complicit in a cover-up.

“The ‘VIP lane’ for PPE is a scandal of epic proportions that has allowed the shameful waste of taxpayers’ money and inexcusable profiteering by Tory cronies.

“Instead of straining every sinew to clawback taxpayers’ money, and fresh from writing off the billions he carelessly lost to Covid fraud, Rishi Sunak is pushing a Procurement Bill full of loopholes that would give Tory ministers free reign to do it all over again.”

Labour said the Procurement Bill stands to write into law the “VIP lane”, and is demanding that the Prime Minister commits to supporting Labour’s amendments to the legislation when it comes to the Commons in the new year.

PA has contacted representatives for Baroness Mone but they declined to comment.

She was made a life peer by David Cameron in 2015 after selling an 80% stake in her Ultimo lingerie company.