Sir Philip Green ‘could be stripped of knighthood’ amid criticism surrounding BHS collapse

Sir Philip Green

A group of MPs had written to the Honours Forfeiture Committee calling for Sir Philip to be stripped of his honour, following heavy criticism of the way he sold off BHS to Dominic Chappell – a man with no retail experience who had been declared bankrupt three times.

In response, a Cabinet Office official wrote to Labour MP Jim McMahon – one of the signatories of the letter – confirming the case was being considered.

“I hope you will understand that I cannot comment on the particular circumstances of Sir Philip, but I can assure you that the case is being reviewed,” the letter stated.

It comes just days before the publication of a joint report by two Commons select committees on the collapse of BHS, which is widely expected to be highly critical of the deal.

In a statement, a Cabinet Office spokesman said:

“Applications for forfeiture are considered by an independent committee.

They have been clear that they will not consider reviewing an honour until any formal reviews or investigations which establish the facts of a case have been completed.

However, we continue to keep the case under review.”

A spokesman for Sir Philip has declined to comment.

A parliamentary inquiry will publish its report on Monday into the demise of BHS, which caused up to 11,000 job losses.

The retail tycoon bought the BHS chain for £200m in 2000, before selling it to Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt with no retail experience.

Pension deficit

Sir Philip has come under scrutiny for that sale, along with the £400m in dividends taken out of the firm during his 15-year ownership and his management of the pension scheme, which had a £571m deficit when the retailer collapsed.

He told a Commons inquiry committee last month that he would “fix” the pension problem at BHS.

The decision to revoke an honour is considered by a committee of civil servants following a recommendation from the Cabinet Office.

Officials said in such cases, any decision would be taken only after formal investigations had been completed to establish the facts.