Assets controlled by former Tory peer Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman have been frozen under a court order obtained by the Crown Prosecution Service. PPE Medro, a company led by Mr Barrowman, is under investigation by authorities. It was awarded contracts worth more than £200m to supply PPE to the NHS through a so-called VIP lane.
The company is also being sued by the Department for Health and Social Care. The Financial Times reported that restrictions had been placed over £75m worth of assets, including a townhouse in Belgravia, properties in Glasgow, an estate on the Isle of Man and numerous bank accounts.
The order prevented the sale of some assets and placed restrictions on others, the paper said. A spokesperson for Baroness Mone and Mr Barrowman has confirmed that assets controlled by the couple have been frozen or restrained under a court order obtained by the CPS.
The National Crime Agency is currently investigating “suspected criminal offences” in contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) awarded during the Covid pandemic to PPE Medpro. Commenting on the court order, the couple’s spokesperson said: “This comes as a result of a consensual process during which negotiations took place with the CPS. It allows the wider businesses and assets of the Barrowman family to operate normally and free from any restrictions or uncertainties. “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.”
The CPS said it would not be in its interests “to leak information about involvement in any case. Last year, the couple admitted in a BBC interview that they had lied to journalists about their involvement with the firm but Baroness Mone said that was “not a crime”. She has since told the Sunday Times that she felt like she was being treated like the former Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, after her bank accounts were frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
PPE Medpro, which made profits of around £60m on its deals with the government, is being sued by the Department for Health and Social Care for £122m plus costs for “breach of contract and unjust enrichment”.
Millions of gowns the company supplied to the NHS were never used but the couple say these were supplied in accordance with the contract, and PPE Medpro has said it will “rigorously” defend the claim.
In other news – Prince Harry’s African charity reacts to abuse claims
African Parks, a leading conservation charity that Prince Harry helps run, has issued a statement after being accused of operating an armed militia engaged in the beating, rape and torture of indigenous people in Africa.
In the statement shared on charity’s website, it says “African Parks has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of abuse and is committed to upholding the rights of local and indigenous people. Read more