Fresh calls for Sir Philip Green to be stripped of his knighthood as he is named as billionaire tycoon who gagged the press over #MeToo harassment claims
- Topshop mogul named in Parliament by Lord Hain as the man behind the claims
- Sir Philip was already hit by calls to be stripped of his gong over BHS collapse
- Vince Cable said if the allegations proven Sir Philip should lose his knighthood
Sir Philip Green was hit with fresh calls to be stripped of his knighthood after he was named in Parliament as the wealthy businessman who gagged the press over sex harassment claims.
Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said the Topshop mogul only narrowly escaped losing his honour after being caught up in the BHS pensions scandal two years ago.
And he said that if the allegations that Sir Philip sexually harassed and bullied staff are true then he must finally be stripped of the gong.
It comes after judges imposed a controversial court order blocking newspapers from publishing the identity of ‘a prominent British businessman’ accused of bullying.
But Labour peer Lord Peter Hain used parliamentary privilege to name the Topshop mogul as the man behind the controversial injunction.
Sir Vince told MailOnline: ‘He narrowly and luckily escaped losing his knighthood over the pensions scandal.
‘If these allegations are correct, he should certainly be stripped of his knighthood.’
Sir Philip has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing in a court or tribunal.
Sir Philip Green has been named in Parliament as the businessman behind an injunction over reporting of sexual harassment and racial abuse allegations
Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable (pictured at a demonstration in London on Saturday) said the Topshop mogul only narrowly escaped losing his honour after being caught up in the BHS pensions scandal two years ago
In a further comment to The Sun, Sir Vince added: ‘I find it very difficult to see how he could credibly hold on to an honour in these circumstances.
‘I think Parliament’s proving its worth. The use of Parliament in this way is healthy and it shows democracy at work.’
Labour MP Clive Lewis tweeted: ‘Sir Philip Green named as man at centre of ‘UK #MeToo Scandal.
‘Given this non-disclosure payments story and his part in the BHS pensions scandal I’d bet good money ‘Sir’ won’t be part of his title for much longer.’
While Labour peer Lord Adonis praised Lord Hain for naming Sir Philip in Parliament.
- The man who unmasked Sir Philip Green: Lord Hain said he… Topshop mogul Sir Philip Green ‘categorically and wholly’…
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In a message on Twitter he said: ‘My friend Peter Hain just done great public service in the House of Lords naming Sir Philip Green as behind the injunctions against the Daily Telegraph preventing them reporting serious allegations.’
And Frank Field, chairman of the Work and pensions select committee and a long-time critic of Sir Philip, called for reform of Parliament to make it easier to report abuse.
He said: ‘I have been talking this evening with somebody who witnessed grotesque bullying at work. They would like for what they witnessed to be shared, through the House of Commons, with the nation.
How could Philip Green be stripped of his knighthood?
The naming of Sir Philip Green as behind an injunction covering up alleged sexual and racial harassment will – although this does not mean that any wrong-doing is proved against him – refuel claims he should lose his knighthood.
A political storm raged over the honour around the time of the BHS collapse.
Sir Philip can only be stripped of the gong by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.
It is a secretive Whitehall panel that meets to consider whether people should be stripped of their honour.
In the past it has cancelled honours of convicted criminals like Rolf Harris and more controversially people who, whilst they have not been convicted of any crime, have been harshly criticised like ex-RBS boss Fred Goodwin.
The Committee, which normally conducts its business by correspondence, considers cases where an individual who has been honoured is judged to have brought the honours system into disrepute.
It usually looks at people who have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more, or have been censured or struck off by the relevant professional or other regulatory authority.
The Committee is not restricted to these two criteria, and if there is other compelling evidence that an individual has brought the honours system into disrepute, then it is open to the Committee to consider such cases as well.
‘I am seeking to raise urgently with the Government the importance of having a mechanism in Parliament through which the voices of victims of abuse can be heard.
‘This would develop the role of the House of Commons in a way which stands up for people who have little money, against those who have much.’
In a bombshell statement in the House of Lords this afternoon, Lord Hain used his special powers as a peer speaking in a Parliamentary debate to point the finger at Sir Philip.
He said: ‘I feel it’s my duty under parliamentary privilege to name Philip Green as the individual in question given that the media have been subject to an injunction preventing publication of the full details of this story which is clearly in the public interest.’
Lord Hain said he had been ‘in contact with someone intimately involved in the case’.
And he said it related to ‘a powerful businessman using non-disclosure agreements and substantial payments to conceal the truth about serious and repeated sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying which is compulsively continuing’.
It is the second time that Sir Philip has been hit by a massive backlash and calls for him to be stripped of his knighthood.
Sir Philip, 66, was slammed for selling retailer BHS for £1 to the former racing car driver Dominic Chappell.
But the troubled retailer quickly collapsed with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a £571m pension deficit.
Furious MPs and minsters accused Sir Philip of purposely ‘misleading’ people over the decline of the retailer and demanded that he was stripped of his honour.
But despite the outcry he managed to cling on to his title, making an offer to put in £363million of his own money to help fund the gap in the pensions fund.
The Tory MP Maria Miller, chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, slammed the use of non disclosure agreements (NDAs) – gagging orders which prevent people going public with their allegations – being handed out.
She told MailOnline: ‘Given the huge influence Philip Green wields in the world of business it is surprising the Court of Appeal decided it wasn’t in the public interest to make public the string of payments that have been made.’
Making a general point about NDAs, she added: ‘It’s unacceptable that the current system allows the use of NDAs to cover up serial offenders and that cannot be allowed to continue.’
The fashion chain tycoon was named in the House of Lords by former minister Lord Peter Hain
Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, said: ‘While much of the focus in the coming days will be on this man and his alleged actions, let us also pay tribute to survivors of sexual abuse and harassment, who are too often silenced and cannot command an army of lawyers to fight their corner.
‘NDAs should never be used to suppress allegations of criminal behaviour. If the current law doesn’t protect the voices of survivors, the next Labour government will legislate to do so.’
The Daily Telegraph has reported that five former employees signed controversial NDAs in which they agreed to remain silent over the claims.
The newspaper said it learned of the secret deals while separately investigating claims of bullying and intimidation.
But before the information was published, Sir Philip’s lawyers launched a legal case and three appeal judges ruled the information was likely to be in breach of the NDAs.
They imposed an injunction preventing the publication of the allegations until a full High Court hearing could consider the case.
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