British retail tycoon hits back at MP’s ‘abuse’

British retail tycoon hits back at MP’s ‘abuse’


The billionaire owner of the Topshop clothing chain on Saturday accused a leading British MP of running a “kangaroo court” after the tycoon was slammed over the collapse of department store chain BHS.

Philip Green wrote a letter to Frank Field, saying that he had led a campaign against him culminating in the publishing of a report last week branding the high-profile businessman the “unacceptable face of capitalism”.

MPs from the parliamentary committee that prepared the report, chaired by Field, called on former BHS boss Philip Green to address “urgently” the shortfalls in a pension fund of 20,000 former employees.

“I have tried to stay silent in the face of your regular outbursts and to focus on the important task of working towards a solution for the BHS pensioners,” wrote Green, in a letter cited by the Press Association.

“But I am not prepared to continue to allow your abuse to go unanswered.

“Even before the parliamentary inquiry started hearing from witnesses, you turned it into little more than a kangaroo court, with your constant press campaign barracking and insulting me and my family and your announcement from day one that the predetermined result of the inquiry was that I either sign a large cheque or lose my knighthood.”

Green bought BHS in 2000 for œ200 million (237 million euros, $265 million) and sold it in 2015 for œ1 to Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt businessman with no retail experience.

The 88-year-old company had 163 stores and 74 franchise operations across 18 countries. Its closing caused the loss of 11,000 jobs.

When it collapsed last month, BHS had debts totalling more than œ1.3 billion,including a œ571-million deficit to its pension fund.

Field said of Green: “His reputation as the king of retail lies in the ruins of BHS. His family took out of BHS… a fortune beyond the dreams of avarice.

“What kind of man is it who can count his fortune in billions but does not know what decent behaviour is?” he said, reports AFP, London.


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