DOUGLAS Ross has dodged an appearance on the BBC when invited to speak about Michelle Mone.

But the Scottish Tory leader still has questions to answer, an SNP MP has said, as he was a UK Government minister at the time when Mone lobbied to get Covid contracts awarded to a firm in which she stood to benefit financially.

David Linden called out Ross on BBC Good Morning Scotland on Monday in the wake of Mone and her husband, Doug Barrowman, admitted to lying to the media for years over the contracts awarded to PPE Medpro.

Mone specifically named Michael Gove, the now Levelling Up Secretary, as being linked to her recommendation of the firm and he is facing calls to answer to MPs before Christmas recess.

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Linden said Mone’s comments also raised questions for Ross.

“Let's not forget that Michelle Mone basically used her contacts in the Tory party to secure these contracts as a result of the VIP fast lane,” the SNP MP said. “That shows Tory sleaze its absolute height.

“And I think it also raises wider questions for Douglas Ross, who, of course, was a UK Government minister at the time.

“He needs to be clear about whether or not he spoke to Michelle Mone when she was busy dropping emails into colleagues’ private accounts, inviting them to procure contracts for her people in Hong Kong.”

The National:

According to Companies House, PPE Medpro was incorporated on May 12, 2020. Four days earlier, Mone (above) had approached Gove saying her “team in Hong Kong” could source face masks.

Ross was a UK Government minister in the Scotland Office at the time. He resigned over the Dominic Cummings Barnard Castle scandal on May 26, 2020.

The BBC said they had asked Ross to appear on their programme, but he “was not available”.

Instead, a spokesperson denied Ross had any contact with Mone, saying the pair had only met “once, socially at a Burns supper”.

Mone was a Scottish Tory peer until she lost the whip amid the ongoing PPE Medpro scandal. 

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Asked if any others in government should face questions, Linden said: “Well, I think we'll get questions for the wider UK establishment that seems to think that Michelle Mone is a fit and proper person to get into the House of Lords.

“Let's not forget that by virtue of being a Conservative peer, perversely, Michelle Mone actually has more ability to go and question David Cameron as Foreign Secretary than I and my colleagues as Members of Parliament do.

“I think that that shows that the House of Lords system is a completely ridiculous set up. It needs to be abolished. It's blatantly undemocratic, and it's no longer fit for purpose because it's packed to the rafters with Tory party donors.”

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First Minister Humza Yousaf also called for the Lords to be abolished after Mone’s interview with the BBC on Sunday.

PPE Medpro is currently being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA), while the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has since issued breach of contract proceedings over a 2020 deal on the supply of gowns.

But although she admitted lying to the media, Mone insisted she was not trying to deceive anyone.

“I did make an error in saying to the press that I wasn’t involved,” she said.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I regret and I’m sorry for not saying straight out, yes, I am involved.”