BHS closes for final time as Philip Green accused of destroying 88-year-old firm with greed

BHS-closes-for-final-time-as-Philip-Green-accused-of-destroying-88-year-old-firm-with-greed

Labour MP Frank Field launched another scathing attack on Sir Philip Green over the collapse BHS as the store vanished from the high street.

He said it was a sad and bad day as the shutters finally came down on 88 years of retail history at 22 remaining stores.

Mr Field, one of the senior MPs leading the inquiry into the failure of the chain, accused Sir Philip of plundering the firm during his ownership and refused to back down on previous remarks the tycoon was evil.

He said: I stand by that. It was a going concern, he was knighted for his services to retail and he turns out to be a sort of asset stripper.

The closure news in April hit 11,000 jobs, 22,000 pensions and sparked the parliamentary inquiry.

Sir Philip and wife Lady Green will find out in weeks whether there will be a criminal probe into the collapse.

He owned BHS for 15 years before flogging it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015.

It crashed with an estimated £571million pension deficit, although experts say it could be nearer £700million.

As calls continued for Sir Philip, 64, to lose his knighthood, Mr Field added: The key thing is how to undo the terrible damage he has inflicted on BHS workers and pensioners.

It is that damage, the plundering of the firm, that I described as evil.

In Glasgow, tearful staff hugged. And from Romford in Essex to Stoke, customers hunted for a last bargain.

In the Harrow store, David Gibson, 50, blasted Sir Philip for just swanning off in his boat.

He added: I do think it’s his fault. Grace McHenry, 56, was pleased with her bargains but said the the closure was immoral.

And another shopper said: If Green was actually trying to do something, I might actually have some respect for him. I’m horrified.

The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it is reviewing paperwork relating to the collapse.

A spokesman said: If the director considers there are reasonable grounds to suspect serious or complex fraud, he will open a criminal investigation.

An MPs’ report last month said Sir Philip had extracted hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS.

Reports yesterday claimed Sir Philip wanted a deal in which the pensions regulator would drop a probe into the deficit, in return for him topping up the pension fund.

The tycoon’s spokesman was unavailable for comment.

News Source MirrorNews

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