Mystery surrounds Michelle Mone‘s ‘for sale’ Algarve villa after an estate agent’s listing for the £8million property vanished hours after we revealed it was on the market.
Leading real estate agency QP Savills was offering Mone’s six-bedroom hideaway to prospective buyers this week with as a luxury home that had ‘just come to market.’
MailOnline discovered the property listing and confirmed it was being promoted off-market weeks after the Tory peer was pictured enjoying golf and al fresco lunches during a sunshine break there with husband Doug Barrowman as she battles to clear her name amid a £200 million PPE scandal.
And hours after we reported the couple were trying to sell the villa they bought less than a year ago – and just three months after their homes were raided by police probing the PPE deal – the link to the sale listing had vanished.
A spokesman for Mone insisted it was not for sale.
Mystery surrounds Michelle Mone ‘s ‘for sale’ Algarve villa after an estate agent’s listing for the £8million property vanished hours after we revealed it was on the market
Mone is currently battling to clear her name amid allegations that she benefited from a company she recommended for a Covid contract. She is pictured at the Pride of Britain awards in London, September 28, 2015
The estate agent confirmed that the property was not for sale and blamed an ‘IT hiccup’ for the listing.
A source close to Mone said that she had spoken to an estate agent when she visited Portugal with Mr Barrowman last week – but insisted that the estate agent should not have featured the villa on its website.
A spokesman for Baroness Mone and her husband insisted after seeing the Mail Online article: ‘The property referenced is not for sale. The owners are taking legal action against the estate agents in Portugal.’
A spokesman for QP Savills in the exclusive Quinta do Lago resort where the villa is located, said: ‘This property is not for sale as quoted. There was an IT hiccup on Friday evening with our system and that property was mistakenly online for a brief period of time until the mistake was realised.’
His comments about the ‘IT hicccup’ came after colleagues confirmed during the week the villa was up for sale before going on to reveal it was a very recent acquisition and was one of the properties being kept off the company website.
Mone, 51, and Mr Barrowman, 58, only acquired the mansion last July for just under £7million through an offshore company.
The bra tycoon was pictured walking her three dogs near the property at the start of the month after arriving by private jet with her 58-year-old husband.
Barrowman was photographed playing golf in the sun and the couple were also spotted relaxing in local restaurants.
They enjoyed their downtime as Michelle, who made her fortune from lingerie firm Ultimo, continued to be investigated by the National Crime Agency as part of a fraud probe into a Covid supplies company she recommended to ministers.
The pair’s £20million London house and Isle of Man estate, part of a property empire which also includes a £40million Caribbean home, was raided last April by NCA officers as part of the investigation.
Lady Mone is also being investigated by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards over her alleged links to PPE Medpro.
She is accused of breaching the Lords Code of Conduct by failing to declare an interest in the firm as well as by lobbying for it to win the huge deals to provide surgical gowns and face masks during the Covid pandemic.
PPE Medpro, set up by Anthony Page who has publicly documented connections to businesses run by Mone and her husband, is being sued for more than £130million by the Department of Health over claims its gowns could not be used by the NHS.
Both the couple, who allegedly received tens of millions of pounds in profits from PPE Medpro through offshore trusts before buying their Algarve home, and PPE Medpro deny any wrongdoing.
Leading real estate agency QP Savills was offering Mone’s six-bedroom hideaway to prospective buyers this week with as a luxury home that had ‘just come to market’
The villa had already been completely renovated before Mone and her husband purchased it and they are thought to have used it sparingly
Hours after MailOnline revealed that Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman had placed their six-bedroom holiday home on the market the listing vanished. They are both pictured at the Cheltenham Festival, March 15, 2019
Mone said last December she was taking a ‘leave of absence’ from the House of Lords ‘in order to clear her name of the allegations that have been unjustly levelled.’
The luxury sunshine pad she and her husband insist they are not trying to sell and should never have been marketed was described as a ‘luxurious villa in a prime location’ before the property listing disappeared.
The 5,400sq ft three-storey mansion, which boasts five bathrooms as well as six bedrooms and a large pool and outside barbecue area, sits on a 21,500 sq ft plot.
The house features a beautiful suspended staircase between the ground floor over the basement and the top floor with two suites including a master suite opening onto a private terrace with ‘golf views.’
An old property description drafted by another real estate agency before they bought it last July enthused: ‘This magnificent villa is surrounded by a private garden that merges naturally with the beauty of the surrounding landscape’ and goes on to describe the house as ‘incomparable.’
It also highlighted the large bathroom on the top floor with ‘his and hers sinks’ and a lower floor storage room it says can be turned into a cinema room or studio.
The villa had already been completely renovated before Mone and her husband purchased it and they are thought to have used it sparingly.
Asked earlier this month by a reporter who owned the property, registered to a company in the US tax haven of Delaware, Baroness Mone snapped: ‘Nothing is owned by me. It’s all owned by my husband.’
Quinta do Lago is billed as Portugal’s most prestigious area and one of the best locations to live in Europe. It opened in the 1970s with a 27-hole golf course in an area of 550 hectares divided into high-end residences.
Currently there are five golf courses surrounded by properties valued between £3.5 and £14 million.
Baroness Mone is being investigated by the House of Lords Commissioners for Standards over her alleged links to PPE Medpro
A spokesman for Lady Mone (pictured in 2019) insisted the villa was not for sale
Mone, from the East End of Glasgow, was made a life peer in 2015 by then-PM David Cameron and appointed as the government’s start-up business tsar.
She has been under the spotlight since it emerged she recommended PPE Medpro to the government’s ‘VIP lane’ for Covid contracts before the company had even been formed.
Mr Barrowman is facing a separate trial later this year in Spain along with six other Brits for alleged tax evasion and misappropriation following a northern Spanish cable factory buyout.
The Scot is insisting he has committed no wrongdoing and will fight a prosecution demand he should be jailed for five-and-a-half years if found guilty on both charges.