Sir Philip not yet out of the woods

Photo: Sir Philip Green, Chairman, Arcadia Group (Centre); Chris Grigg, CEO, British Land (R). Photo: Financial Times
Photo: Sir Philip Green, Chairman, Arcadia Group (Centre); Chris Grigg, CEO, British Land (R). Photo: Financial Times

Sir Philip Green is still at risk of losing his knighthood over the closure of the UK’s landmark BHS chain, according to arch-foe Labour MP Frank Field.

Almost exactly a year since the department stores closed, Mr Field said that Sir Philip – whose wife Lady Tina Green is a Monaco resident – has not done sufficient to hold on to his title, despite promising to pump £363 million into the distressed pension fund in a deal struck with the UK’s Pension Regulator.

“When Parliament comes back from the election, we need to pursue the charge sheet from The Pensions Regulator against him and what the Pensions Regulator got in return,” Mr Field said. “Sir Philip Green remains on the hook.”

“It’s rather good that Mrs May is waiting for all the reports to come in before she makes a recommendation to the honours forfeiture committee. The case against Sir Philip will continue in the new Parliament,” added Mr Field.

When the store chain collapsed, 11,000 high street jobs were lost and the pensions of 19,000 threatened.

Chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, Mr Field stated, “We must have a proper pensions bill in the new Parliament to protect these assets. The pensions defect stood at £571 million when the chain collapsed.”

The chain was sold to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell in 2015 for just one pound. He has said: “Green took hundreds of millions out in 10 years, made little or no investment back, and stuck two fingers up at the pension trustees for 10 years. He has paid back only a fraction of what he took out.”

 

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