Carol Vorderman’s attack on Michelle Mone today prompted a brutal comeback from an ally of the embattled bra baroness, who asked: ‘What are the reasons – a hunger for publicity, or maybe her coming to the end of her TV career?’
The comments, made exclusively to MailOnline, came after Vorderman reignited her feud with her former friend during a fiery interview on This Morning that ended with her turning to the camera and saying, ‘Sue me, Michelle’.
The former Countdown star, 62, used her appearance to describe the scandal currently engulfing Baroness Mone over government PPE contracts, before claiming that she ‘dropped her like a stone as soon as I realised what kind of person she was’.
However, a source close to the entrepreneur today hit back against Vorderman, branding her ‘publicity hungry’ and calling the comments ‘outrageous’. ‘I really don’t understand why Carol has started this attack,’ the source added.
A source close to Michelle Mone today hit back at comments made by her former friend, Carol Vorderman (they are pictured together at Cheltenham in 2012)
The comments came after Vorderman reignited her feud with her former friend during a fiery interview on This Morning that ended with her turning to the camera and saying, ‘Sue me, Michelle’
The source also hit back at Vorderman’s claims on Twitter that Baroness Mone’s husband, Doug Barrowman, paid for a super yacht and a private jet using money from government PPE contracts.
‘Baroness Mone’s husband has owned super yachts and a jet for many years.
‘What are the reasons – a hunger for publicity, or maybe her coming to the end of her TV career?’
It emerged last month that Vorderman had called a halt to their friendship ‘some time ago’, but today was the first time she had addressed the issue on national television.
‘I cannot talk about useless PPE without also talking about Michelle Mone who was brought into the House of Lords, as a baroness, by David Cameron,’ the former Countdown host told This Morning.
‘We know she has taken leave of absence without losing the Tory whip to start with because she was actively involved, as it goes, with a company called PPE Medpro.’
She then mentioned her former friendship with Baroness Mone, before adding: ‘Now Michelle Mone, I knew, many years ago and then dropped her like a stone as soon as I realised what kind of person she was.’
Vorderman turned to look at the camera directly and held both hands up as she said: ‘Sue me, Michelle.’
At this point, This Morning host Alison Hammond interrupted Vorderman to say: ‘Carol, can I just say she’s not here to defend herself.’
But she continued: ‘No she’s not here to defend herself but I’m repeating what has been said in the press and what has proven to be true.’
Vorderman has strongly criticised Baroness Mone over allegations relating to government contracts to supply PPE, firing off more than a dozen tweets on the subject.
The broadcaster has even claimed her former friend – who she has not been pictured with since 2012 – should be ‘slammed in jail where she belongs’.
An insider recently claimed it was Vorderman who ended the friendship, telling The Sun: ‘There was no bitter bust up or rows between them.
‘Carol just decided not to continue the friendship over ten years ago.’
It emerged last month that Vorderman had called a halt to their friendship ‘some time ago’, but today was the first time she had addressed the issue on national television
‘I cannot talk about useless PPE without also talking about Michelle Mone who was brought into the House of Lords, as a baroness, by David Cameron,’ the former Countdown host said
2010: Vorderman and Baroness Mone Marion Rose Ball in aid of Children with Leukaemia at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London
Baroness Mone welcoming Vorderman to Twitter (top); and below – one of Vorderman’s comments about the PPE scandal
Baroness Mone is under investigation by the National Crime Agency as part of a fraud investigation into a Covid supplies company she recommended to ministers.
She is also being probed by the House of Lords over concerns that she may have failed to declare an interest in PPE Medpro and lobbying for it to win £203m in NHS contracts, and has lost the Tory whip after taking a break from Parliament in an attempt to clear her name.
The Government is also suing the firm for allegedly breaching the terms of one deal to supply 25million surgical gowns for medics.
Vorderman has made a series of claims against her former friend on Twitter.
She wrote in one post: ‘Lady’ Mone broke Lords’ code & was seemingly involved in fraud while nurses & doctors slaved all hours to save people in the 1st lockdown.
‘She denied any involvement but her husband got £65m profit & she £29m. If so, slam them in jail where they belong.’
In a second tweet she said: ‘After £221m PPE contracts, Michelle Mone threatened Hancock that if a 2nd company she was ‘helping’ to get a flow test contract for wasn’t allowed to ‘get in the game’ the awarding would seem ‘corrupt’ & she’d ‘blow this all wide open’ Where do we start??’
She added: ‘Michelle Mone… Today While nurses strike for the first time in their history, reports Mone and her husband flew in the private jet bought after PPE Medpro contracts, to the Alps for a holiday to stay in £6,000 a night hotel Words fail me. You?’
2010: Vorderman (left) and Baroness Mone at the launch party of The Sun’s new magazine, The Buzz
2011: The pair hug after spending time together in central London
In 2012, Baroness Mone spoke about her Vorderman was helping her get over her divorce from her ex, Michael.
‘Every day, I’m getting stronger and I’ve learned a lot,’ she told Zest magazine.
‘I used to do everything with my husband, so I’ve had to start all over again, creating a whole new social life at 40.
‘I spend a lot of time with my girlfriends – I have great fun with Carol Vorderman – and I have discovered a passion for karaoke.’
Baroness Mone also welcomed Vorderman to Twitter, tweeting: ‘Please follow my good friend Carol Vorderman.
‘The sexy woman is new to Twitter so say hi! Mx.’
It comes as Vorderman revealed new details about her relationship history including her 10-year-long ‘no-strings-attached’ relationships with multiple men, who she calls her ‘special friends’.
The presenter went on to slam ‘b*****ks’ rules against women, claiming she get ‘frustrated’ when they’re told to ‘find a man’.
She told The Sun : ‘I don’t understand why my behaviour should change just because I’m getting older.
‘I might have a boyfriend who only lasts a few months. I call them ‘special friends’. People may have other terms for them!’
She added elsewhere in the interview: ‘Every romcom tells women to look for love and live happily ever after. It’s all nonsense. We sell every little girl the message: ‘Cinderella needs a prince to save her.’ Yet half of marriages end in divorce.’
Vorderman with her ex boyfriend Graham Duff, a former Red Arrows Squadron leader
The TV star recently revealed new details about her relationship history including her 10-year-long ‘no-strings-attached’ relationships with multiple men, who she calls her ‘special friends’
Vorderman has been married twice and has two children, and although currently single, fans are always clamouring to hear about her previous relationships.
Baroness Mone recently suffered another setback after the taxman said part of her husband’s business empire was promoting tax avoidance schemes.
The taxman named and shamed three ‘tax avoidance’ schemes promoted by a firm in her husband Doug Barrowman’s Knox Group.
HM Revenue and Customs issued a press release earlier this month saying the programmes promoted by AML Tax (UK) Ltd all ‘seek to disguise remuneration’ – wrongly allowing company directors to avoid paying tax on their income.
Mary Aiston, HMRC’s director of counter-avoidance, said: ‘These schemes are cynically marketed as clever ways to pay less tax.
‘The truth is they rarely work in the way the promoters claim and it is the users that end up with big tax bills. HMRC will continue to use all the powers at our disposal to crack-down on promoters.
‘Anyone who thinks they may be involved in a tax avoidance scheme, or have been approached by a scheme promoter, should contact us as soon as possible to get help.’
Baroness Mone suffered another setback after the taxman said part of her husband Doug Barrowman’s business empire was promoting tax avoidance schemes
Last March, AML Tax was fined £150,000 after a tribunal found it had failed to comply with a tax investigation by HMRC.
At the time, the taxman said the company was ‘part of Doug Barrowman’s Isle of Man based Knox Group’.
In the new announcements, the taxman identified Annuity Arrangements, AML Prefunded EBT and AML Split Contracts as tax avoidance schemes promoted by AML Tax.
HMRC said the schemes ‘make use of complex company structures and directors’ loan accounts’ to allow people to be paid without having to pay income tax, National Insurance or corporation tax.
MailOnline has contacted Baroness Mone for comment.
From leaving school in Glasgow with no qualifications to modelling and business deals: How ‘Baroness Bra’ made her millions
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone was born in 1971 and grew up in Glasgow’s East End, leaving school with no qualifications aged 15 before finding work as a model.
After running a sales and marketing team for the Labatt’s brewing firm, she decided to create a range of support bras after the idea came to her while wearing an uncomfortable bra during a dinner party.
Lady Mone founded MJM International with her then-husband Michael Mone in November 1996, and three years of research, design, and development resulted in the patented Ultimo bra.
Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone (pictured centre) is under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards for allegedly failing to declare an interest in PPE Medpro and lobbying for it to receive government contracts
The 51-year-old Conservative peer (pictured) – nicknamed Baroness Bra – has always insisted she neither had any involvement in PPE Medpro nor benefited financially from it
In August 1999, a month after having her third child, she launched Ultimo at the Selfridges department store in London, which sold the pre-launch estimate of six weeks of stock within 24 hours.
The business grew rapidly and in 2010 she earned an OBE from the Queen for her contribution to business.
But she sold 80 per cent of Ultimo in 2014, one year after announcing she had left the company following a breakdown in her marriage.
Lady Mone was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ after being elevated to the House of Lords in 2015, where her official title is Baroness Mone of Mayfair.
To celebrate her 50th birthday, she decided to host five parties – one for each decade of her life – with her new husband billionaire tech tycoon Doug Barrowman, 55.
Baroness Mone founded the Ultimo brand, which earned her the nickname Baroness Bra