THE fallout and stench from the Michelle Mone scandal seems to be growing by the day and to have many possible implications for some very senior politicians within the UK Conservative Party.

Mone’s own role in the matters concerned had been well publicised prior to the airing of her television interview with Laura Kuenssberg last weekend. Less well known, however, was the involvement of one Michael Gove MP.

Until being named by Mone, Mr Gove had managed to keep himself well under the radar.

READ MORE: Michelle Mone shows how cronyism is institutionalised

Mone asserts that he was in direct contact with her when she was lobbying for a PPE contract. Mr Gove has some serious questions to answer.

Michael Gove, however, is not the only Tory politician who needs to be put directly under the spotlight on the matter of the PPE contracts that were being handed out like sweeties to Tory party members and their connections during the pandemic. We also know that the pub landlord friend of former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was awarded a £40 million contract for medical equipment despite having had no previous experience of producing medical supplies.

It really does seem to have been “fill your boots time” for more than a few people with links to the Tory party. The fact that we are talking in terms of millions of pounds here is staggering.

READ MORE: Michelle Mone scandal uncovers new depths of Tory duplicity

Finally, I note that not all senior Tory politicians are taking Michelle Mone’s claims about what happened lying down. Lord James Bethell is a hereditary Tory peer who oversaw the award of Covid-related contracts during 2020. In attempting to defend the government from accusations made during the weekend by Michelle Mone, Lord Bethell released a copy of a text message he received from her on October 4 2020 in order to support the government’s claim that Mone wasn’t “honest” in explaining her financial interest in the PPE company to him.

The unfortunate thing for Lord Bethell in releasing this text message is that when he himself was under scrutiny back in 2021 regarding matters related to the supply of PPE and Covid testing equipment, he was asked by the Good Law Project to produce his text messages related to such contracts. On his behalf, a government lawyer issued a witness statement that SMS and WhatsApp messages could not be produced as the phone concerned had been lost.

It seems more than curious that Lord Bethell now appears to have found it. This is going to run!

Jim Finlayson

THE BBC Laura K interview featuring the shameless Baroness Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman was genuinely Prince Andrewesque in its complete lack of credulity and self-absorbed misplaced hubris.

In the unlikely event that we require a reminder of why Scotland needs to urgently disassociate itself from this toxic Union and all it represents, look no further than their story.

The case reminds us of the scale of incestuous corruption and breathtaking dishonesty at the heart of the UK Government.

READ MORE: Michelle Mone hits out at Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove in PPE scandal

As arms manufacturers often view the outbreak of war as an opportunity to amorally line their pockets, so it appears many Tories and their confederates saw the pandemic as a chance to increase their own and their family’s wealth.

According to The Guardian, PPE that was bought for £46 million by the firm PPE Medpro was then sold on to the UK Government for £122m after Ms Mone allegedly used her in-house contacts to enlist the support of Cabinet minister Michael Gove to join the VIP lane for public contracts.

The fact that the gowns purchased failed a government inspection and were never used increases a sense of outrage that public money should be distributed in such a fashion during a time of genuine crisis and uncertainty.

Of course Ms Mone – whose first vote in the House of Lords, lest we forget, was to controversially endorse government cuts to tax credits for low-income families – still insists she has done nothing wrong apart from lying to and threatening the press, and distances herself and her husband from the contracts debacle despite evidence that profits from Medpro were transferred to a secret offshore trust of which Ms Mone and her children were beneficiaries.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak addresses Michelle Mone scandal during Scottish visit

Though she was previously placed under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioner for standards, none of us will hold our breath awaiting its findings, such is the lack of trust or faith in British parliamentary scrutiny or accountability.

The case of Baroness Mone highlights the institutionalised malfeasance at the heart of the UK Government. Whilst hard-pressed families struggle to keep their heads above water at Christmas, a gang of amoral crooks and their supporters control the power levers of the UK whilst the cesspool that Westminster has become masquerades as a democratic establishment.

Owen Kelly