The peer who exposed Philip Green as being at the centre of sexual harassment allegations works for the law firm used by a newspaper in its court battle against the businessman, it has emerged.
Lord Hain named the Topshop chairman on Thursday as the “leading businessman” who obtained a privacy injunction to prevent the media publishing allegations by former employees. Sir Philip “categorically and wholly” denies the allegations.
The Labour peer defended his decision to use parliamentary privilege to break the Court of Appeal injunction, telling the Lords he believed it was his “duty” to do so.
But is has since been revealed Lord Hain is a “remunerated” adviser to Gordon Dadds, the law firm that represented The Daily Telegraph in its injunction case against Sir Philip.
The revelation will add to the constitutional row developing over Lord Hain’s decision to ignore the court order. Some lawyers accused the former cabinet minister of pre-empting an ongoing legal case.
On Gordon Dadds’ website, Lord Hain’s profile page reads: “I was appointed by Gordon Dadds in June 2016 to act as the firm’s global and government adviser.
“As well as advising on governmental matters, I also play an active role in expanding Gordon Dadds’ international connections, with a particular focus on Africa and the Middle East.”
In a statement, Lord Hain said he named Sir Philip in a “personal capacity” and that he was “completely unaware” Gordon Dadds were advising the newspaper.
In a separate statement, Gordon Dadds told Legal Cheek, the website which revealed the possible conflict of interest: “Peter Hain is a self-employed consultant who provides occasional advice to the firm relating principally to African affairs.
“Any suggestion that Gordon Dadds LLP has in any way acted improperly is entirely false.”
Sir Philip is facing fresh calls for his knighthood to be withdrawn, echoing similar demands that followed the collapse of chain store BHS, which he previously owned.
Independent MP Frank Field, who chairs the Commons Work and Pensions Committee and was highly critical of Sir Philip during the BHS scandal, said: “The charge sheet against the knighthood is growing.
“Parliament and the country have made their views clear on this matter. Ultimately it’s a decision for the Honours Forfeiture Committee.”
Responding to the allegations against him, Sir Philip said in a statement: “I am not commenting on anything that has happened in court or was said in parliament today.
“To the extent that it is suggested that I have been guilty of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour, I categorically and wholly deny these allegations.”