UK Government-funded PPE contracts worth £200m to a company linked to Michelle Mone were a result of "panic buying", according to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).A report by the watchdog went on to say it "cannot comprehensively conclude" whether the baronesswas involved in the awarding of the contracts during the Covid pandemic.
It comes after supplier PPE Medpro was given two of the contracts for face masks and sterile surgical gowns after being recommended by Tory peer Mone, who is married to Glasgow-born businessman Doug Barrowman.Mone consistently denied having "no role or involvement" with the firm or with the awarding of the contracts with her lawyers adding that she "was not connected to PPE Medpro Ltd in any capacity”.The PACreport, published on Tuesday, July 18, reads: "These are serious defects in government’s stewardship of public money and the Committee has previously reported on this issue.
However, from the evidence in the materials made available to us we cannot comprehensively conclude whether emails from Baroness Mone and the route through the High Priority Lane led to the PPE Medpro offer being treated differently by government than other offers made in the same way during those abnormal times."The report went on to state that the UK Government was "panic buying" PPE due to high demand.It continued: "On the basis of the material we have seen, the risk appetite appears to have been so high at the time that the Department does not seem to have responded to the information it was receiving as part of the contracting process in a way that would be appropriate in normal times. "The Department had an overriding impetus to buy and though it conducted some checks, found aspects of bids or companies that