BHS: Sir Philip Green says report into conduct at failing retail chain is 'biased and unfair'

Tycoon claims conclusion of report was 'predetermined' against him

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Monday 25 July 2016 23:01
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Philip Green says the conclusion of the report was 'predetermined'
Philip Green says the conclusion of the report was 'predetermined'

Sir Philip Green has denounced the “biased and unfair process” with which the report into the collapse of BHS was conducted by MPs.

The joint report by the Work and Pensions and Business, Innovation and Skills select committees dubbed the retail tycoon “the unacceptable face of capitalism” and laid out a “litany of failures” at the company which went into administration in April.

It found Sir Philip had left the 88-year-old retail chain on “life support” before selling it off to Dominic Chappell – who they called a “wholly unsuitable chancer”.

The group of MPs concluded they could find “little to support the reputation for retail business acumen for which he received his knighthood”.

But Sir Philip attacked this assessment, accusing the MPs of being biased against him from the start and claiming the conclusion was “predetermined”.

He said: “I have now carefully read the select committees’ report and note their findings. I believe that the report is the predetermined and inaccurate output of a biased and unfair process.

“With the benefit of hindsight, clearly Retail Acquisitions and Mr Chappell were a very bad choice as purchaser on many fronts and I feel badly let down. Sadly, one cannot turn the clock back.

BHS store in Newport, Wales. The remaining 88 stores are to be closed by 20 August 

“The disposal of BHS was made one hundred per cent in good faith and I still believe that we provided Retail Acquisitions and Mr Chappell with the appropriate finance (c. £200m of cash and assets) to take the business forward.

“As I told the committees, I am trying to find a solution for the BHS pension and am continuing to work with the Regulator to achieve an outcome.

“I am sad and sorry for all the BHS people caught up in this horrid story, but I do not believe that this story is being in any way fairly portrayed.”

Earlier on Monday he threatened to sue the chair of the Work and Pensions select committee, Frank Field, over comments he made to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme comparing Sir Philip to Robert Maxwell – the disgraced former newspaper boss who stole millions from his company’s pension fund.

Sir Philip frequently came to verbal blows with Mr Field and his counterpart on the BIS select committee, Iain Wright, over their conduct and statements to the media.

In a letter to the pair before he gave evidence in May, Sir Philip said he said he had been subjected to a “trial by media” and accused them of “leaping to conclusions before any evidence from any witness has been heard”.

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