Daily Mirror


£200mCovid deal ‘truth’ plea Pair in Mone link firm probe

- BY SOPHIE HUSKISSON Political Correspond­ent and LIZZY BUCHAN

MATT Hancock and Michael Gove have been interviewe­d by the National Crime Agency as part of a probe into a PPE company linked to Tory peer Michelle Mone.

The former Health Secretary and current Levelling Up Secretary are among witnesses spoken to by “Britain’s FBI” in recent months as part of an inquiry into PPE Medpro.

It won £200million of Government contracts to supply masks and gowns during the pandemic.

But the Department of Health said the gowns it bought were not sterile and therefore unusable. It is suing PPE Medpro for more than £130m. The firm rejects the claims. Others questioned by the NCA include Lord Bethell, a former Health Minister, and Lord Agnew, who served in the Cabinet Office. It is understood they were interviewe­d as witnesses and not under caution.

There is no suggestion they were involved in any alleged wrongdoing. Former lingerie tycoon Baroness Mone and husband Doug Barrowman came under scrutiny after fears were raised about her alleged failure to declare financial interests in PPE Medpro. The couple admitted their involvemen­t with the firm for the first time earlier this month.The Tory peer took a leave of absence from the House of Lords last December to clear her name of the allegation­s.

Mr Hancock claimed in his Pandemic Diaries she had sent him an “extraordin­arily aggressive email” in 2021 to try to secure a contract for an unnamed second firm supplying lateral flow tests. He said he did not reply.

Pat McFadden, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “It is vital that the Government is open about the nature of Michelle Mone’s and Douglas Barrowman’s involvemen­t in the procuremen­t of this PPE, and how such a situa


tion was allowed to happen.Taxpayers paid a fortune for equipment that in some cases was not fit for purpose, while those selling it made millions of pounds in profit.”

Lib Dem Health Spokespers­on Daisy Cooper said: “Another day, yet another Covid scandal. The public deserves the truth about exactly what went on.”

A Tory spokesman said: “We have launched legal proceeding­s... and as such it would be inappropri­ate to comment.” Baroness Mone, Mr Hancock and Mr Gove were approached for a comment.

Mirror this month

 ?? ?? DENIES CLAIMS Baroness Mone hopes to clear name
DENIES CLAIMS Baroness Mone hopes to clear name
 ?? ?? INTERVIEW Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove
INTERVIEW Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove
 ?? ?? EMAIL Matt Hancock’s book made Mone claims
EMAIL Matt Hancock’s book made Mone claims

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