Tory Minister Wrongly Claims Michelle Mone Is Suspended From House Of Lords

Lord Calannan's comments came during an awkward interview with Kay Burley.
Baroness Mone has taken a "leave of absence" from the House of Lords.
Baroness Mone has taken a "leave of absence" from the House of Lords.
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A Tory minister has wrongly claimed that Michelle Mone is suspended from the House of Lords during an awkward interview on Sky News.

Lord Calannan said he “hoped” his fellow Conservative would not return to the upper house after she admitted lying to journalists about her involvement in a controversy over personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic.

Baroness Mone, who was made a Tory peer by David Cameron, announced a year ago that she was taking a voluntary “leave of absence” from the Lords.

She had repeatedly denied to the press that she had any involvement in PPE Medpro, a consortium led by her husband Doug Barrowman, which secured contracts with the government worth £202 million.

But on on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg yesterday, she admitted she stood to benefit from the £60 million profit the company made from the deal.

The government is currently suing PPE Medpro for breach of contract, while the National Crime Agency has also launched an investigation.

Appearing on Sky News this morning, energy minister Lord Calannan was asked by Kay Burley: ”[Baroness Mone] is an acknowledged liar. Should an acknowledged liar have the right to make laws for all of us?”

The peer replied: “She’s on suspension from the House of Lords at the moment.”

He said she hoped “she would see sense” and added: “I would hope that she would not be coming back to the House of Lords.”

However, there is currently nothing to stop Mone from returning to the Lords.

A statement from her office last December said: “With immediate effect, Baroness Mone will be taking a leave of absence from the House of Lords in order to clear her name of the allegations that have been unjustly levelled against her.”

The Lib Dems have called on Rishi Sunak to remove the Tory whip from Mone.

The party’s Cabinet Office spokesperson, Christine Jardine, said: “The prime minister should kick Michelle Mone out of the Conservative Party and withdraw the whip if she has the gall to return to the Lords.

“This shameful saga is an insult to the British public and shows why we need to bring an end to this Conservative cronyism and sleaze at the next election.”

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