In an exclusive interview, the ex-Tory peer says she and her husband were made “scapegoats” for PPE failings.
Michelle Mone has admitted that she stands to benefit from tens of millions of pounds of profit from personal protective equipment (PPE) sold to the UK government during the pandemic by a company led by her husband.
After several years of denying her role in the deal between the government and the firm, PPE Medpro, the former Conservative peer has admitted in an exclusive interview that she is a beneficiary of her husband’s financial trusts, which hold around £60m of profit from the deal.
But she says she and her husband, Doug Barrowman, have been made “scapegoats” for the government’s wider failings over PPE.
Baroness Mone has repeatedly denied that she had profited from the deal, which she first discussed with government ministers including Michael Gove.
But when asked by the BBC if she stands to gain she says: “If one day, if God forbid, my husband passes away before me, then I am a beneficiary, as well as his children and my children, so yes, of course.”
The interview, to be broadcast this morning on the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show on BBC One, is the couple’s first TV interview since it first emerged they were involved in providing PPE during the pandemic at a cost of more than £200m. They repeatedly denied any involvement.
Last week, they admitted they were linked to the deal during a film funded by the company and posted online.
In the BBC interview, the couple accept that they lied to the press about their involvement with the firm over many months.
“I did make an error in saying to the press that I wasn’t involved,” Baroness Mone says.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I regret and I’m sorry for not saying straight out, yes, I am involved.”
Michelle Mone took a leave of absence from the House of Lords last year, saying she wanted to clear her name after allegations that she had benefitted from the contracts and failed to declare her interest.
She and her husband say the Department of Health and Social Care, the NHS and the Cabinet Office knew she was involved and that she had declared her interest with the Cabinet Office.
The couple are being investigated by the National Crime Agency – and PPE Medpro faces a civil claim from the Department of Health.
Millions of gowns the company supplied were never used. The couple say the gowns were supplied in accordance with the contract.
Watch the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show live on the BBC News website, BBC One and iPlayer from 09:00 GMT.