Under-fire bra mogul Michelle Mone has put the luxury Algarve villa where she was spotted up for sale for £8m – as she fights to clear her name amid allegations she profited from a company she recommended for a Covid contract.
Baroness Mone has taken a leave of absence from the House of Lords after being engulfed in controversy over her ties to PPE Medpro, which won government contracts during the pandemic.
Now MailOnline has learned that the Conservative colleague and her husband Doug Barrowman have put their six-bedroom holiday home on the market just weeks after they were pictured enjoying a sunny break there.
The pair bought the mansion just last July for £7 million – through an offshore company.
They are trying to offload it with a profit of almost £1 million after their secret holiday in the sun came to light.
The pair bought the mansion in the Algarve for £7 million just last July. Now Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman want to sell the six-bed property
Mone is currently fighting to clear her name amid allegations that she took advantage of a company she recommended for a Covid contract. She is pictured at the Pride of Britain awards in London, September 28, 2015
A luxury estate agency in the exclusive resort of Quinta do Lago has been tasked with selling the home for just over £8 million (€6.95 million).
Baroness Mone, 51, was photographed walking her three dogs near the property at the beginning of the month after arriving by private jet with her Glasgow-born business magnate husband.
Barrowman, 58, was photographed playing golf in the sun and the couple were also spotted relaxing in local restaurants.
The couple were enjoying their time off as Michelle, who made her fortune from lingerie company Ultimo, was further investigated by the National Crime Agency as part of a fraud investigation into a Covid delivery company she had recommended to ministers.
Their £20 million London home and estate on the Isle of Man, part of a property empire that also includes a £40 million Caribbean home, was raided by NCA agents last April as part of the investigation.
She is also under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards for her alleged links to PPE Medpro. She is accused of violating Lords’ code of conduct by showing no interest in the company and by lobbying to win the massive deals to supply surgical gowns and face masks during the Covid pandemic.
PPE Medpro, founded by Anthony Page, who has publicly documented connections to companies run by Mone and her husband, is being sued by the Department of Health for more than £130 million over claims the jackets could not be used by the NHS.
Both the couple, who reportedly received tens of millions of pounds in profits from PPE Medpro through offshore trusts before buying their home in the Algarve, and PPE Medpro deny any wrongdoing.
A luxury estate agency in the exclusive resort of Quinta do Lago has been tasked with selling the house for just over £6 million
The villa had been completely renovated before Mone and her husband bought it and they would have used it sparingly
Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman have listed their six-bedroom vacation home for sale. They are both pictured at the Cheltenham Festival, March 15, 2019
Mone said last December she was taking “a leave of absence” from the House of Lords “to clear her name of the allegations that have been wrongly leveled.”
The luxury sundeck she and her husband are trying to sell is being marketed as a “luxury villa in a prime location.”
The three-storey 5,400 m² mansion, with five bathrooms and six bedrooms and a large swimming pool and outdoor BBQ area, sits on a 21,500 m² plot.
The house features a beautiful suspended staircase between the ground floor through the basement and the top floor with two suites, including a master suite that opens onto a private terrace with ‘golf course views’.
A property description reads: ‘This beautiful villa is surrounded by a private garden that merges naturally with the beauty of the surrounding landscape’ and then describes the house as ‘incomparable’.
It also highlights the main bathroom on the top floor with ‘his and hers sinks’ and a storage room on the lower floor that is said to be able to be converted into a cinema room or studio.
The villa had been completely renovated before Mone and her husband bought it and they would have used it sparingly.
A well-placed insider said: “They haven’t said why they want to sell, but the decision to put it on the market is very recent.
Baroness Mone is under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards for her alleged links to PPE Medpro
The luxury pad Mone and her husband are trying to sell in the Algarve is being marketed as a ‘luxury villa in a prime location’
“People are clearly speculating that it’s related to the fact that what they thought was a secret hideout they’d managed to keep from prying eyes has now been exposed.”
Another said, “I’d be surprised if they’ve stayed there more than half a dozen times in the eight months they’ve had it.”
Asked earlier this month by a reporter who owned the villa, registered with a corporation in the U.S. tax haven of Delaware, Baroness Mone snapped, “Nothing belongs to me. It all belongs to my husband.’
Quinta do Lago is heralded as the most prestigious area in Portugal and one of the best locations to live in Europe. It opened in the 1970s with a 27-hole golf course in an area of 550 hectares divided into high-end residences.
Currently there are five golf courses surrounded by property valued between £3.5 and £14 million.
Mone, from the East End of Glasgow, was made an epicurean in 2015 by then Prime Minister David Cameron and appointed as the government’s czar of start-ups.
She has been in the spotlight since she was revealed to be recommending PPE Medpro to the government’s ‘VIP lane’ for Covid contracts before the company was even established.
Mr Barrowman and six other Britons face a separate trial in Spain later this year for alleged tax evasion and embezzlement following a takeover of a northern Spanish cable factory.
The Scot insists he has not committed any wrongdoing and will challenge the prosecution’s demand that he face five and a half years in prison if found guilty of both charges.
She took a voluntary leave of absence from the Lords to fight the claims which a spokesman has described as ‘unjustly made against her’.