HMRC has issued a “winding up petition” to the company PPE Medpro Ltd which is linked to the Conservative peer Michelle Mone, citing unpaid taxes. 

The company is already under investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) for fraud. In 2020, it was awarded £203 million worth of UK Government PPE contracts after Mone approached Michael Gove.

The winding up petition, first reported by courts blogger Daniel Cloake, was issued on Thursday morning. Further details on tax owed or for how long it had been outstanding are not yet publicly available. 

Previously, it was revealed by The Guardian that Mone in 2020 proposed to fellow Tory peer Theodore Agnew supplying large quantities of face masks to the Government. She told Agnew these could be sourced through her “team in Hong Kong”.

This offer was then fast-tracked by civil servants through a VIP “high priority lane” after being referred onwards by Agnew, who at the time was a Cabinet Office minister responsible for procurement. 

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However, The Guardian revealed that PPE Medpro Ltd was incorporated four days after Mone first approached Agnew. 

In total, two contracts were awarded to PPE Medpro Ltd by the government under Covid emergency regulations. The first was for £80.85m to supply 210m face masks. The second contract was for £122m, to supply 25m surgical gowns. 

The second contract, however, fell under controversy as the Department for Health and Social Care rejected the gowns and is seeking to recover the money spent through a dispute resolution process. 

Mone has denied involvement with PPE Medpro, with her lawyers putting out a statement saying: “Baroness Mone is neither an investor, director or shareholder in any way associated with PPE Medpro. She has never had any role or function in PPE Medpro, nor in the process by which contracts were awarded to PPE Medpro.”

She is currently under an ongoing investigation by the House of Lords as to whether her links to the company amount to a breach of member rules. 

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In April, the NCA executed search warrants at Mone’s Isle of Man mansion - shared with her husband, financier Douglas Barrowman - and several other properties. 

PPE Medpro’s director, Anthony Page, claimed to The Guardian that the directors were unaware of the winding up petition. He said: “[The directors] have not received any communication or notice to date. The company will, as always, engage with HMRC and it will ensure that if any taxation remains due, it is paid in full.”