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Sir Philip Green faces a fresh grilling when MPs debate BHS' collapse next Thursday

Helen Cahill
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Frank Field MP, chair of the work and pensions committee, has been leading the parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of BHS

Sir Philip Green faces a fresh grilling from MPs when the House of Commons debates the collapse of BHS next Thursday.

City A.M. understands the debate will focus on the BHS pension scheme and the damning report from MPs that labelled Sir Philip Green "the unacceptable face of capitalism".

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BHS collapsed into administration in April after Green sold the business to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is now investigating the sale to ascertain whether Green sold the business to dispose of his obligations to the BHS pension scheme, which had a £571m deficit at the time.

But Frank Field MP, who has been leading parliament's BHS inquiry as chair of the work and pensions committee, has said it is a "disappointment" that TPR has not sped up its investigation so MPs can have the report before the Commons debate.

Field told City AM: "We've got a debate a week on Thursday and it would have been helpful for us to know what The Pensions Regulator's preliminary conclusions were and we're entering that [debate] without that - and that's a disappointment."

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"The regulator said she hoped she would have a report before the end of the year," he added. "And I hope there is a growing demand that they do need to improve radically on that end of year deadline."

TPR has been pushing for more investigatory powers so that it can complete investigations of this kind more quickly.

As a result of the collapse of BHS, former employees of the company face receiving a cut to their pensions as the BHS scheme enters the Pension Protection Fund.

Giving evidence to the work and pensions select committee, Green promised he will "sort" the BHS pension scheme, but City A.M. understands that the discussions are ongoing and are a long way from reaching a conclusion.

Field said:

I live in hope that at any moment he will sort it and that it's a really good offer, and that no pensioner is worse off. When he said it I was surprised that he hadn't already got it under way - and that he hadn't done it within a month.

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