This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has expressed his support to strip Sir Philip Green of his knighthood if he boycotts a grilling by MPs over the collapse of BHS. Former owner of BHS, Sir Phillip, has refused to provide evidence to a parliamentary inquiry unless Labour’s Frank Field, who he accuses of bias, steps aside as chair of the work and pensions select committee.
The work and pensions select committee and the business select committee are investigating the £1 sale of the retailer to ex-bankrupt Dominic Chappell and the subsequent collapse that left a £571m black hole in its pension fund. According to Mr McDonnell, the threatened no-show was an “insult to the British public” and the demise of the retailer “makes a mockery of those in business who are doing the right thing.” He alleged that recent scandals have exposed “a growing elite who think they are above the law and above British decency” and vowed to implement “anti-freeloader” measures if Labour returned to power.
In his remarks, Mr McDonnell stated that “this week, we may witness Philip Green (I refuse to use his title) justify his actions at BHS. The fact he feels he can threaten to subvert parliament is an insult to the British public.” He alleged that “if he refuses to come before parliament, Green should be stripped of his knighthood. Parliament should have the right to strip honours from individuals, in my view,” adding that “this would remove the secret committee network and help restore public faith in the honours system.”