The BBC has been flooded with complaints about Baroness Michelle Mone's appearance on Laura Kuenssberg's show, it can be revealed.

Some 168 complaints have been received to date about the item broadcast on Sunday, December 17, according to the broadcaster.

Viewers complained that the interview with Baroness Mone and her billionaire husband Douglas Barrowman showed "bias in their favour".

READ MORE: Who is Michelle Mone? Controversial peer faces PPE grilling

In its fortnightly update on complaints the BBC noted the nature of the complaints.
It said: "Inappropriate to interview Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman/bias in their favour."

A BBC probe is now underway into the complaints.

During the interview, the Glasgow-born peer admitted she stood to benefit from profits of tens of millions of pounds from a PPE deal with the Government after repeatedly insisting she had nothing to do with it.

But the 52-year-old also remained defiant and denied wrongdoing.

READ MORE: Baroness Mone: What was the BBC thinking of?

"I don't honestly see there is a case to answer,'" she told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. "I can't see what we have done wrong."

The lingerie tycoon lobbied Michael Gove and Lord Agnew to secure lucrative business for PPE Medpro, a company Mr Barrowman was involved in. 

It was then awarded contracts to supply the NHS with medical protective equipment during the pandemic through the 'VIP lane' to fast-track preferred partners.

READ MORE: Michelle Mone's BBC interview was a spectacular own goal

The deal yielded profits of about £60million but PPE Medpro is being sued by the Government for £122million plus costs for alleged 'breach of contract and unjust enrichment'. 

The National Crime Agency also opened a case in May 2021 looking into the procurement of deals, interviewing the pair under caution over allegations of conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation and bribery.

Baroness Mone and her lawyers repeatedly insisted she and Mr Barrowman, 58, had nothing to do with the company or the process of awarding the contracts.

In December last year she took a leave of absence from the House of Lords which her legal team said was to 'clear her name of the allegations that have been unjustly levelled against her'.

But Baroness Mone admitted to Ms Kuenssberg that she had indeed lied to the Press - and "essentially lied to the public", the presenter added - when she claimed the couple hadn't been involved in the firm.

"That's not a crime," she said. "I was protecting my family and I think people will realise that.
"I was a very successful, individual businesswoman, and since I walked into the House of Lords, it's been a nightmare for my family."

Former government minister Anna Soubry described the exchange as a "car crash," accusing the baroness of profiteering and now playing the victim to rebuild her reputation.

And Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid said: "This interview was Laura K at her best - asking the right questions and allowing Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman time to answer. And those answers are jaw-dropping."

During the interview, Mr Barrowman admitted that Baroness Mone would benefit from the deal, as would their children. 

And she confirmed: "If one day, if God forbid, my husband passes away before me, then I am a beneficiary, as well as his children and my children, so yes, of course."

Baroness Mone later tweeted to say the 90-minute interview had been 'selectively edited down by producers for TV'. She had previously told a YouTube documentary, funded by PPE Medpro, that she believed she would be cleared of all wrongdoing. – and  The Herald’s Alison Rowat described the interview as “a train wreck with Christmas bells on” for Baroness Mone.

Readers wrote to The Herald to complain that the couple should not have been given a platform to put their case while under police investigation.

"Is this propping up of one side of ongoing legal processes and disputes the balanced reporting expected from the BBC whose service we are forced to pay for?" wrote reader Morag Campbell of Glasgow.

"The BBC should not be allowing these privileged people further privilege by presenting this to the general population."