UK

Sir Philip Green knighthood 'under review'

Sir Philip Green Image copyright Reuters

The knighthood awarded to former BHS boss Sir Philip Green is being kept "under review", the Cabinet Office has said.

It comes after the collapse of BHS this year and criticism of his decision to take money out the firm before selling it for £1 to a former bankrupt.

A Cabinet Office official confirmed his case was under consideration in a letter to Labour MP Jim McMahon.

A spokesman for Sir Philip has declined to comment on the matter.

However, the spokesman did say: "We will await the report of the [Commons] Work and Pensions Committee on Monday."

The committee of MPs will publish its report on Monday into the demise of BHS, which caused up to 11,000 job losses.

Mr McMahon was among a number of MPs who wrote to a Whitehall honours committee, calling for Sir Philip to be stripped of his knighthood.

Image copyright UK Parliament TV
Image caption Dominic Chappell took over BHS from Sir Philip

The retail tycoon bought the BHS chain for £200m in 2000, before selling it to Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt with no retail experience.

Sir Philip has come under scrutiny for that sale, along with the £400m in dividends taken out of the firm during his 15-year ownership and his management of the pension scheme, which had a £571m deficit when the retailer collapsed.

He told a Commons inquiry committee last month that he would "fix" the pension problem at BHS.

The decision to revoke an honour is considered by a committee of civil servants following a recommendation from the Cabinet Office.

Officials said in such cases, any decision would be taken only after formal investigations had been completed to establish the facts.

In the letter to the MP, the official wrote: "I hope you will understand that I cannot comment on the particular circumstances of Sir Philip, but I can assure you that the case is being reviewed."

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "Applications for forfeiture are considered by an independent committee.

"They have been clear that they will not consider reviewing an honour until any formal reviews or investigations which establish the facts of a case have been completed. However, we continue to keep the case under review."

Meanwhile, 20 BHS stores ceased trading on Saturday. These are in:

  • South Shields
  • Slough
  • Truro
  • Hartlepool
  • Stirling
  • Lisburn
  • High Wycombe
  • Ashford
  • Clydebank
  • Preston
  • St Helens
  • Yeovil
  • Basildon
  • Southport
  • Peterborough
  • Newport
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Warrington
  • Wigan
  • Burton-on-Trent

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