Ministers are leaving Michelle Mone and her husband to face difficulties alone.

Doug Barrowman alleges that the investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) into the Covid ‘VIP lane’ company is being used as a distraction from the government’s incompetence, according to a statement confirmed by the disgraced Tory peer Michelle Mone and her husband. They claim that they are being unfairly targeted over the government’s Covid-19 PPE failings.

In relation to PPE Medpro, a consortium led by Barrowman and currently being sued by the UK government for breach of contract and unjust enrichment, Barrowman accuses the government of using the NCA to pressure them into reaching a settlement. The NCA is investigating allegations of fraud and bribery surrounding the company, which Mone and Barrowman deny.

Mone admitted last month that she had lied about her connections to PPE Medpro, which profited from a deal to supply PPE via the ‘VIP lane’ after she referred it to ministers in May 2020.

The couple have called for the resignation of Sir Chris Wormald, the most senior civil servant in the Department of Health and Social Care, alleging that the government is using them as scapegoats to divert attention from its mishandling of PPE procurement during a national emergency.

Despite attempting to settle the dispute multiple times, Barrowman claims that the government demanded an increased settlement amount before considering ending the investigation by the NCA.

Mone now acknowledges her involvement in PPE Medpro and that her husband transferred over £60m in profits, with £29m being transferred to an offshore trust benefiting Mone and her three adult children.

The controversy has also sparked a clash between the couple and Conservative politicians, with Mone responding to accusations from former Tory health minister Lord Bethell about her honesty during the pandemic regarding her financial interests. Mone argues that the Cabinet Office, government, and NHS were aware of her involvement from the beginning before awarding contracts worth £203m to her husband’s firm.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment on ongoing legal cases.

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