Baroness Mone should not return to the House of Lords, a government minister has said.

After the Conservative peer admitted lying about her involvement in lucrative PPE contracts during the pandemic, Lord Callanan, the energy minister, criticised her behaviour and said he did not want her back in the Lords.

While Mone has taken a leave of absence from the Lords, she is free to resume membership and Rishi Sunak is under pressure to ensure she does not return to the upper House.

Callanan said Mone “should have declared her involvement” in PPE Medpro in the House of Lords’ register of interests and urged her to “see sense” as legal action continued.

READ MORE: Michelle Mone: Sunak heads to Scotland as questions mount over PPE row

Asked on Sky News if she were a suitable member, Callanan said: “I would hope that she would not be coming back to the House of Lords.”

Yesterday Mone conceded she stands to benefit from a deal between the government and the PPE Medpro company — which is led by her husband Doug Barrowman — acknowledging she did not tell the truth when she denied involvement. She had claimed over many months that she was not involved in the lucrative deals and did not stand to gain, when about half the profits were placed in a family trust.

“I’m his wife, so I’m a beneficiary, as well as his children, as well as my children,” the former underwear tycoon said.

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

PPE Medpro made a £60 million profit after Barrowman’s offer to supply gowns and masks at the height of the pandemic was fast-tracked by his wife’s contacts. He has claimed that a senior government official invited him to pay money to make a criminal fraud investigation into PPE contracts “go away”.

The National Crime Agency began investigating in May 2021. A film released this month and paid for by PPE Medpro, said that Mone and Barrowman faced allegations of conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation and bribery. The couple “categorically deny” them.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also pursuing a £122 million civil case for “breach of contract and unjust enrichment”. Now Barrowman, 58, has said that, as part of the department’s efforts, a senior official suggested in November last year that the NCA investigation would be dropped if they paid back the cash.

“This individual asked me would I pay more for the other matter to go away,” he told the BBC. “I was speechless … I’m clear what he was saying — he was asking me if I would pay more money for the NCA investigation to be called off.”

When asked why he did not tell police, Barrowman said that his legal team had advised “that we park that one for now”.

In response Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister, said: “I simply don’t recognise that, but let’s wait and see. There is a proper process for this to go through, which is a civil case and a criminal case. We will get to the bottom of what has happened. I am confident [that this suggestion was not made] and I would be very surprised, but I don’t want to pre-judge matters.”

The interview with Laura Kuenssberg, the former BBC political editor, was part of a strategy by Mone and her husband to fight claims of profiteering and, they say, smears perpetuated by the health department.

In spring 2020, PPE Medpro was awarded an £81 million contract to supply facemasks and a £122 million order for gowns, without tender.

As the truth behind the “VIP Lane” — the special treatment provided to politically connected suppliers offering PPE — emerged, Mone and Barrowman denied their involvement in PPE Medpro with aggressive legal threats to investigative journalists.

However, yesterday Mone admitted lying to the press, saying she did so to protect her family and that this was not a crime. “I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes,” she said. “I regret it and I’m sorry for not saying straight out, ‘Yes, I am involved’ because [the Department of Health and Social Care], the NHS, the Cabinet Office, they all knew of my involvement, but I didn’t want the press intrusion for my family.”

Mone and Barrowman also admitted that she stood to benefit from the £29 million that Barrowman placed in a family trust. Barrowman added: “Ultimately, if I’m married to Michelle, and ultimately, I’m going to generate profits, then ultimately, Michelle, in some shape or form, is going to indirectly benefit. And actually, if I die, one day in the future, she’s going to directly benefit.”

The pair claimed they had been “scapegoated” by the Department of Health as the “Bonnie and Clyde” of PPE, to divert attention from the chaos around PPE procurement, which resulted in as much as £9 billion of public money wasted.

Mone said that her life had been “destroyed”, she had been “vilified” and threatened, adding: “No one deserves this.”

The interview is the couple’s latest attempt to protect their reputation and silence critics.

After the film was screened The Sunday Times reported that experts featured in it had not been told about its funding or Mone’s involvement. David Oliver, a former president of the Royal College of Physicians, claimed afterwards that he had been “used”.

Mone was one of the 45 peers appointed by former Prime Minister David Cameron, now foreign secretary Lord Cameron, in his 2015 summer dissolution honours.

Earlier that year he appointed the founder of the lingerie brand Ultimo as the government’s new entrepreneurship tsar for areas of high unemployment.

She came out against Scottish independence during the referendum campaign, and in the runup to the 2015 general election said: “I’ve always been Labour through and through. But I think the Conservatives did inherit a really bad business five years ago, and I think they’ve done a hell of a good job.”