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Sir Philip Green should pay BHS pensioners, says Lady Barbara Judge

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Media captionLady Judge says Sir Philip Green should “write a cheque” to cover the BHS pension deficit

Lady Barbara Judge, the former chairman of the Pension Protection Fund, has called on ex-BHS owner Sir Philip Green to compensate the company's pensioners.

Sir Philip sold the store chain for £1 last year but it collapsed under new owners with a pension deficit of £571m.

Lady Judge told BBC Radio 5 live's Wake up to Money: "He should be writing a cheque and saying 'I'm sorry'".

Her comments echo those of Frank Field MP, who chairs the committee examining the collapse of BHS.

Mr Field has asked Sir Philip to "write a cheque" to sort out the pension fund.

In an angry war of words, the tycoon has responded by accusing the MP of overseeing a "kangaroo court" in his committee's parliamentary inquiry into the firm's collapse and of trying to create a "false narrative".

Mr Field has accused Sir Philip of "displacement therapy" and said he had to "face up to the evil he has done in destroying BHS".

Sir Philip's spokesman did not respond to Lady Judge's comments directly, but did reiterate that he is in discussions with the Pensions Regulator to try to find a solution to the BHS pension scheme.

New powers

Meanwhile Lady Judge said that the Pensions Regulator needed greater powers to prevent a repeat of what happened at BHS.

"My proposal is that the Pensions Regulator or some other agency be set up, like the Competition and Markets Authority, [so] that every time a corporate transaction of a certain size takes place with a pension fund of a certain size... a filing would be made by the parties it interested.

"They would say this is the deal... and this is what we are going to do for our pensioners.

"Under my scenario we would have a pensions regulator that looked at every pension fund in the country and then had an obligation to talk to those pension funds about what they were doing."

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