Labor demands investigation of Tory colleague Michelle Monae over PPE contract

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The Labor Conservative is calling for an investigation into the conduct and integrity of colleague Michelle Monáe as she has repeatedly denied any affiliation with the PPE company she has since recommended to the government.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently revealed that Lady Monáe refers company, PPE Medpro Ltd., as potential supplier During the coronavirus pandemic.

It then entered the “VIP” fast-track, high-priority lane for firms with political connections, before being awarded two contracts, one for face masks and surgical gowns, valued at a total of £203m.

Formed on May 12 last year, PPE MedPro was administered and provided directorship by Knox House Trust (KHT), an Isle of Man corporate services firm run by Monae’s husband Douglas Barrowman.

In extensive correspondence over six weeks last year, Monáe was repeatedly asked by the Guardian about her connection to PPE MedPro. He was also asked whether he had any discussions with government officials about the firm.

Meanwhile, PPE MedPro was asked if anyone involved in the company had discussed it with a partner as part of its approach to the government.

In their reply, neither Mone nor PPE Medpro disclosed that it had referred the company to Cabinet Office minister Lord Agnew.

At the time of correspondence, Mone’s lawyers have repeatedly denied that he had any connection or affiliation with the company, or that he had any role in securing the contracts.

One of the responses stated that Mone “has never had a role or function in PPE MedPro, nor in the process by which contracts were awarded to PPE MedPro”. Her lawyers claimed that Mone was “in no way associated with PPE Medpro” and that any “suggestion of association” between her client and PPE Medpro would be “both false and misleading”.

The lawyers also said that “with reference to ‘high priority lanes’…any suggestion that either” [Mone or Barrowman] Any role in how the PPE MedPro contract was processed would be completely false and misleading.

However, last week DHSC revealed That Monáe played an important role in this process by making an initial recommendation to Agnew.

However, following that referral, Agnew recommended “VIP” lanes for companies referred to by ministers, lawmakers or peers. At that time, the government was awarding contracts without any competitive tender under emergency COVID rules. Referred companies for VIP lane were 10 times more likely to be awarded a contractAccording to the report of the National Audit Office.

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Renner called on the government – or the Cabinet Secretary, if the government so refuses – to publish all correspondence, documents, meeting minutes and notes relating to all contracts awarded through the VIP process.

Rainer said: “There are serious questions that Baroness Monáe must answer whether she was telling the truth when she said she played no part in giving £200 million of taxpayer money to PPE Medpro. Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party She also has serious questions to answer about Baroness Monáe’s status if she lies about these contracts and her role in the VIP fast-track lane.

“If Baroness Monáe was not telling the truth about her role in these covenants, she clearly has failed to uphold the Nolan principles and there are further questions to be answered about whether she violated the rules.” Is. Upper House Code of conduct. Baroness Monáe should refer herself to the commissioners of the House of Lords for investigation, if she is convinced that she has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide.”

NS Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords states that they “must adhere to seven general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life”, known as the Nolan Principles. These include integrity, accountability, openness and honesty, and an affirmative duty of leadership, which requires members to “actively promote and firmly support” principles.

Mone’s role in this process was revealed after DHSC. Published list of 47 companies The contracts were awarded through the VIP lane after a freedom of information request followed by good law project, which is challenging the appropriateness of some government contracts.

There is no evidence that Mone played any role in securing his contracts last year beyond his initial referral to PPE MedPro.

However, this week the Financial Times reported that Mone also lobbied for officials working for the government’s Test and Trace program., apparently PPE on behalf of MedPro. Jackie Rock, a senior officer, emailed colleagues on February 10, saying: “Baroness Monáe is going to Michael Gove and Matt Hancock today because of her anger at the way she is treating MedPro. hot with. [sic] in this matter.”

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Mone’s representatives told the FT that: “With regard to test and trace, she has advocated for the government to treat all companies tendering for UK contracts fairly and a transparent process by DHSC in the award of contracts.” be adopted.”

Responding to questions from the Guardian, Mone’s lawyers said: “Baroness Mone PPE does not rule out the simple act of referring Medpro to Lord Agnew’s office as a potential supplier of PPE.”

However, he said Monáe strongly denied that any of his previous statements were untrue or misleading, adding that he denied being associated with, associated with, or playing a role in PPE MedPro in the “commercial sense” of those words. He described the company’s referral to Mone’s Agnew as a “very simple, solitary and concise step” that he contributed to the COVID emergency response.

The Guardian is still awaiting a response from Monae’s lawyers as to why the coworker initially decided not to disclose his referral to PPE MedPro.