Tory peer Michelle Mone accused of sending racist and offensive messages | House of Lords

Conservative peer Michelle Mone was accused of sending a racist message to a man of Indian descent who in an official complaint alleged that she told him he was “a waste of a man’s white skin”.

The term was supposedly used in a WhatsApp message sent by the Tory member of the House of Lords in June 2019 during a dispute following a fatal yacht crash off the coast of Monaco.

The message was part of a series of WhatsApp exchanges, screenshots of which were sent as part of a complaint to the House of Lords Standards Commissioner alleging that Lady Mone had sent racist and abusive messages.

The Guardian has seen the complaints and screenshots of the exchanges in which Mone also appears to make derogatory remarks about the mental health of the man’s partner, referring to her as a “mental lunatic” and a “madman.” The Commissioner replied that he could not investigate Mone because the messages were not sent as part of her parliamentary work.

Contacted by the Guardian, a representative from the Tory peer initially said, “Baroness Mone is 100% not a racist. Baroness Mone and her husband have built over 15 schools in Africa in the past three years. “

Her lawyers later issued another statement saying Mone had “no access” to the messages and “no detailed reminder of her”.

“She is not ready to comment on the messages unless and until their authenticity has been confirmed, but Baroness Mone definitely denies that she is a racist, a sexist or that she shows no respect for the people who really suffer with mental health problems. “

It is “as illogical as it is inconceivable that she could or would have made such a statement or even with the slightest racist intention”, since she had no knowledge at this point in time that the complainant was “something other than” a white Briton, as its appearance is 100% white, with an English accent made of cut glass ”.

In separate correspondence, her lawyers also said her client believed at the time that the man had “no trace of non-white coloring or any markings” suggesting that he was not “100% white and British.”

The yacht crash occurred in late May 2019, at the end of a day that Mone and her husband, Isle of Man-based businessman Douglas Barrowman, spent on their boat and with friends and guests who had arrived on another yacht. When her friend’s yacht returned to Monaco, it crashed into Barrowman’s and one of the crew was killed.

In the weeks after the collision, Mone appears to be embroiled in a disagreement via WhatsApp with the Indian-born man, who describes his appearance as brown-skinned and was a guest on the other boat with his partner.

Michelle Mone and Douglas Barrowman. Photo: Stills Press / Alamy

On June 13, 2019, according to an advertisement in a WhatsApp group, Mone inquired whether the man’s partner had actually suffered mentally after the accident and claimed that she celebrated “only a few days later”.

The man replied that his partner was severely traumatized by the yacht incident, adding, “I would prefer you the fuck back to back off.”

According to the complaint and the WhatsApp screenshots, the Tory peer then said, “OMG, what a bunch of crap !! You’re talking to me, a smart, intelligent person who won’t let your shit infect you! In fact, my bullshit detector was with you from day 1. You and your mental lunatic from a friend broke up [sic] How crazy! … you have to get a grip and have respect for a guy who was killed !!! Funny that your crazy girlfriend has now deleted all the pictures, don’t worry, I have screenshots of the dates and times. 48 hours after the guy was killed. Her [sic] a low life, a man’s waste [sic] white skin so don’t tell us your lies Her [sic] a total shame. “

She added, “Now you are dealing with the police investigation, including your nut case bird.”

The man sent an immediate reply saying, “A waste of a white man’s skin? Didn’t know you were racist, Michelle. “Fifteen minutes later, Mone said,” Yours [sic] blocked and take your psychological case to the police. “

In response to questions from the Guardian, Mone’s lawyers also questioned the motivations of the complainant, a financial advisor who worked briefly for Barrowman. In order to cast doubt on the authenticity of the messages, they suggested that they be “written in a manic way, in tune with someone with coherence problems and not by a well-trained and articulate baroness”.

The complainant, who does not wish to be named, filed a complaint with Martin Jelley, the Lords Commissioner for Standards, in August 2021. The document alleges that Mone’s behavior on WhatsApp messages amounted to bullying and harassment, arguing that the messages were “derogatory and racist” towards him and “insulting and derogatory” towards his partner’s mental health.

Jelley replied that he could not investigate because the Lord’s Code of Conduct, which embodied the “Nolan Principles” for people in public life, only applied to members “in the course of their parliamentary duties and activities”.

The commissioner informed Mone that the complaint had been made but that it would not go any further. Contacted by the Guardian, Jelley said the Lords Code prevented him from confirming or rejecting information regarding the complaint.

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A House of Lords spokesman said: “If a complaint does not relate to a member’s parliamentary duties, it is not covered by the Code or the mandate of the Standards Commissioner.”

The complainant then wrote to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, an advisory body to the Prime Minister, , argued that this case suggests that the Lords Code is unsuitable for the purpose as it “disregards the conduct of its members outside the House, however reprehensible”.

Mone was appointed to the House of Lords by David Cameron in 2015, a year after she sold 80% of the shares in her lingerie company Ultimo. She was then selected to lead a government review on entrepreneurship. Iain Duncan Smith, then Minister of Labor and Pensions, said at the time: “I cannot think of anyone better qualified to help young entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds turn a good idea into a thriving business.”

The Guardian’s release of Mones WhatsApp messages will raise further questions about her behavior. Last week Labor called for an investigation into Mone’s involvement in the award of £ 203 million government contracts to a company, PPE Medpro.

Mone has repeatedly denied any connection with the company over the past year. However, earlier this month it emerged that it had referred PPE Medpro to the government as a potential supplier. Her attorneys have claimed that all of her statements regarding PPE Medpro are true.

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