Sir Philip Green

Lord Hain's allegations against Sir Philip Green

Lord Peter Hain
PA
Lord Hain has used parliamentary privilege for a second time to reveal allegations against Sir Philip Green

Lord Hain' hasn't held back in his allegations against the Arcadia boss.

"To explain why, I am revealing for the first time in public exactly what one of Sir Philip Green's victims told me whilst pleading with me to name him under parliamentary privilege. I quote: 'He was touching and repeatedly slapping women staff's bottoms, grabbing thighs and touching legs. Hundreds of grievance cases were raised with HR. The company lawyer who interviewed me then lied. Sir Philip screamed and shouted at staff 'to go to psychologists'.

"'Victims went to an employment tribunal but were told it would not get anywhere so settled with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Some were worn down with spiralling legal costs costing them a fortune. He broke some in the end. It was horrible ... He is still doing exactly the same thing. It is rife, it happened all the time. I saw him grab the breasts of others. This has gone on for long time'."

Sir Philip has denied allegations that he harrassed staff.

Sir Philip Green 'grabbed women's breasts' Lords told

sir philip green
reuters

Sir Philip Green grabbed women's breasts and slapped their bottoms, a peer has claimed.

Lord Hain told the House of Lords that staff had made hundreds of complaints about the retail tycoon.

Last year Lord Hain named the Topshop boss as the person behind a legal injunction stopping a newspaper publishing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.

Sir Philip previously "categorically and wholly" denied the claims.

Responding to Lord Hain's latest claims, he said: "How sad somebody who already has proven they're prepared to abuse the system wants to continue to behave in this manner."

There's more to come on this story here.

Is Arcadia a big game of poker?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

top shop
Getty Images

Oliver Shah is the business editor of the Sunday Times and wrote a book "Damaged Goods" about Sir Philip Green, who has now said how he wants to slim down his Arcadia empire, closing 23 shops and putting 520 jobs at risk.

Sir Philip wants to conduct a Company Voluntary Agreement - a form of insolvency that allows the company to get out of leases - and lower pension contributions.

"It's particularly controversial given the money he has taken out of the business in the past," Mr Shah points out.

"He took a big £1.2bn dividend in 2005 - there's a big hole in the pension fund about £750m on the most extreme measure, and looming over the whole thing is the shadow of collapse of BHS."

What are the chances of the CVA being accepted? It's a "big ask" says Mr Shah adding: "the cynic in me thinks he's going through the motions".

Mr Shah says a little while ago he spoke to Sir Philip who said: "It's all a big game of poker - that's his phrase". Mr Shah speculates Sir Philip may have to improve his offer later.

The BBC's story is here.

The Pensions Regulator 'rejects' Arcadia plan

Sir Phillip's rescue plan for Arcadia Group has already hit a hurdle, according to Sky News.

It says The Pensions Regulator is not happy.

Sir Philip's plan to inject £100m into its pension scheme is deemed inadequate to protect members' interest, it says.

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Landlords vote crucial

Sir Philip and Kate Moss
Getty Images

Sir Philip's rescue plan for Arcadia still needs to be approved by landlords and that's not a given.

The British Property Federation (BPF) has repeatedly said that too many companies are abusing CVAs and using them to dodge rent.

Today it's said that it's up for individual property owners to decide on how they would vote on Arcadia's plan.

New Look, Carpetright, House of Fraser and Mothercare are among retailers that have already used the process to shore up their finances.

The stores due to close

Here is the full list of the stores set to close, assuming of course that landlords approve the deal.

Table of store closures
BBC

'Out of fashion'

shop numbers
BBC

Business correspondent Emma Simpson says Sir Philip Green's brands have fallen out of fashion.

Read her analysis here:

Sir Philip Green's brands used to dominate the high street. He was the king of retail, making a fortune in the process. He famously took out a £1.2bn dividend from Arcadia back in 2005, the largest corporate payout in UK history.

But this once powerful retail empire is now in serious trouble. Dorothy Perkins, Burtons and Miss Selfridge fell out of fashion a long time ago.

Topshop has long been the jewel in the Arcadia crown but it too is struggling. It's no longer the go-to place for young fashion-seekers.

Behind the scenes, his brands have suffered from years of underinvestment. But, like other traditional retailers, Arcadia is also been hit by rising costs like business rates and wages as well as our changing shopping habits. Sales are on the slide.

This restructuring deal, which must be approved by landlords and the Pension Protection Fund, is a pivotal moment for Sir Philip and his business. If he doesn't succeed, administration looms.

His aim is to put the group on a more sustainable footing so a turnaround plan can be put in place.

But launching a CVA, even though they're in fashion, is a dramatic fall from grace for a businessman whose glory days seem long gone.

Questions over future of Arcadia group

BBC Radio 5 Live

Wake Up To Money

Philip Green
PA

What's happening at Philip Green's Arcadia group? Recent reports suggest the retailer is struggling to save the business.

Retail analyst Teresa Wickham explained the current situation on today's Wake Up To Money.

She told the programme: "Coming up in June, a lot of his stores have got rents to pay. Meanwhile he's trying to negotiate to close some stores and pay less rent.

"There was a black hole in the pension scheme so he's trying to do a deal with landlords - a CVA - but landlords are playing hardball."

One possibility is that he could sell some or all of the business. "It could be sold as a going concern or broken up," she said, adding that Topshop and Topman are the most attractive part of the group.