MICHELLE Mone's former husband has dismissed media reports inflating her personal wealth.

Businessman Michael Mone broke his silence after his wife was appointed as Britain's start-up czar amid government claims of her "well-documented business success".

The couple's small but high-profile lingerie firm MJM International suffered substantial losses in its last year as the Mones split their business and personal partnership.

That year tabloids declared that Ms Mone had bought out her husband for £24 million, suggesting the business was worth around £50m.

Business sources have, however, indicated that the true figure was less.

Mr Mone said: "I have never received £24m or anything like it. Such reports were completely untrue."

His ex-wife's new career as a television personality and motivational speaker is based on suggestions that she is a successful multi-millionaire.

This week she was given an unpaid appointment to lead a UK Government's review of how to boost new business creation in Britain's poorest neighbourhoods.

In 2013, as her business struggled and was in the process of being sold off, Ms Mone gave a tabloid interview under a headline saying she was £24m poorer.

However, she has never publicly stated this figure - the source of much of the recent media talk of her wealth. Her spokesman declined to say whether she she had sought correction for such tabloid stories.

But in her book My Fight to the Top - previously dismissed as a "work of fiction" by Mr Mone - she refused to say how much she paid her ex-husband. "All I will say is that is that the papers reported that it was £24m and that wasn't true," she wrote.

In her book Ms Mone confirmed that the business owned by she and her then husband was going under before a controlling stake was sold to Sri Lankan investors.

It comes after Scottish business leaders, such as Douglas Anderson of Gap Group, and Conservative sources questioned whether Ms Mone - also tipped to be a peer of the realm - is a suitable person to lead the government review.

This is both because they do not believe she is a successful businesswoman and because not all of her publicity has been positive.

In the difficult final years of her business she was found to be involved in a bugging of a worker.

Yesterday The Herald reported that MJM International had made use of employee benefit trusts or EBTs, a kind of tax avoidance loophole now being closed.

Ms Mone did not deny this - the £500,000 EBTs - were detailed in MJM's financial accounts. When asked to comment, Ms Mone's spokesman accused The Herald of seeking "partisan non-stories".

The 43-year-old herself later posted a statement on Twitter entitled "You won't break me." She said: "All my tax affairs and those of companies and businesses run by me have been handled in full compliance with the law.

"Any suggestion to the contrary is defamatory and will attract legal action.

"My legal team is watching and legal letters have gone out today."

She signed off her message in an apparent sideswipe at her critics, saying "Typical SNP supporters." The Herald had only cited unionists questioning her appointment.

The Herald has attempted to identify where Ms Mone's wealth lies and has been unable to do so.

The sale of her Glasgow flat was completed this week. Bought for £780,000 in 2013, she sold it for £1m. The property is mortgaged.

So too is the family home she shared with Mr Mone but which has still to be sold.

A £2m Mayfair flat in London - in which she was photographed by Hello Magazine - was rented.

Mr Mone, meanwhile, suggested he may have more to say in the future. He said: "I have decided to keep my counsel. That may not always be the case if further defamatory statements come out that harm either me or my kids."