Sir Philip Green has demanded that the chairman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee resign from the BHS inquiry, accusing him of “bias against me”.
Green, who has faced criticism over the collapse of the retail chain, wrote a letter of complaint for Frank Field MP last night.
He said Field’s “bias against me and lack of any interest in a fair process” had been demonstrated by comments made in the press.
Green told Field: “I am not prepared to participate in a process which has not even the pretence of fairness and objectivity and which has as its primary objective the destruction of my reputation.
“I therefore require you to resign immediately from this inquiry.”
He wrote to the MP after he was quoted in the Financial Times saying his committee would “laugh” if Green offered less than £600m to settle BHS’ pension debts.
“If any proposal amounts to anything less than that, the committee will just laugh at him,” he said yesterday.
“The committee may have considered a reasonable settlement in the very early days of our inquiry, but things have changed.”
He also said: “Sir Philip needs to convince us that he’s come up with the very best deal for those pensioners.”
Green’s letter added: “You are not the Pensions Regulator and you have no power over the Pensions Regulator. Anything to do with the resolution of the BHS pension issues is in their jurisdiction and not yours and your continued participation in the inquiry will serve only to obstruct a resolution.”
Reacting to Green's letter, business minister Anna Soubry said: “Sir Philip needs to understand Parliament is the boss, get a grip & get in front of the committee on [Wednesday].”
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