Tory peer at centre of PPE Medpro corruption scandal

The National Crime Agency is carrying out an investigation into PPE Medpro, a company that won itself millions in Covid related contracts after Tory peer Michelle Mone recommended the company to the government.

The lawyers from PPE Medpro have refused to comment on the ongoing investigation – a class-based omission if there ever was one. Even the Prime Minister is “shocked” to find out that Mone and her husband received tens of millions of pounds in PPE contracts.

The Prime Minister’s shock may have turned into an awkward sweat when Parliament forced him to publish documents relating to PPE Medpro. Mone helped secure contracts via a ‘fast track’ system of political ties to get contracts during the pandemic.

According to many sources, Mone is just one link in a vast chain of shoe box companies that moved money from contracts outside of the UK. This wasn’t just passive income, but also active investments. In the end, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spent 12bn, much of it acquired via this VIP lane.

As of the 8th of May 2020, PPE Medpro had not been legally incorporated as a company in the UK. However, Mone was on the move. Within weeks, Medpro had been awarded millions in contracts. Once the company had been established on mainland Britain a similar company was established on the Isle of Man- a tax haven.

This isle of man company entered into contracts with Loudwater Trade and Finance in London. It was a deal to secure and supply PPE worldwide, including Eric Beare’s network of factories – an electric goods producer that ended up just buying PPE from Chinese factories. Loudwater never procured this directly but via Neumer Trading of Cyprus.

The supply chain that these companies are part of is complex and their role allows them to take cuts at every stage- not unusual. Yet, Michelle Mone and her husband Douglas Barrowman never stopped making huge amounts of money from this complex web of fiance – despite only being a lobbyist for Medpro.

The purchase agreements with the Chinese manufacturers of the surgical gowns showed that Eric Beare and Loudwater had purchased 25 million gowns for just £46 million. With costs not taken into consideration, the £122 million that the DHSC paid PPE Medpro resulted in a profit of £76 million.

The face masks contract’s top-line profit was £26.5 million. According to the numbers, PPE Medpro and its partners may have made up to £102.5 million from their £203 million worth of contracts with the UK government. This is a profit margin of about 50%.

Barrowman, who has been revealed to have an unspecified ‘interest’ in PPE Medpro, ‘somehow’ moved some of this profit from his accounts. Having been paid 70m by Medpro, he divided up the profits and gave them to various trusts, one of which was awarded 29m, his wife’s trust.

In this dizzying web, that is not fully clear yet, Bourgeois democracy is shown to be what it always has been- a sham. At every corner, the working class has been sold out and capitalists have used it as their piggy bank.

Grant MacDonald, is a member of the YCL’s Edinburgh Branch

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