First Sir Philip Green published a report from a top lawyer criticising MPs, and now he’s gone one step further by launching a stinging attack on Frank Field in the form of a letter from the retailer.
On the eve of the Commons debate on whether Green should be stripped of his knighthood, a letter seen by the BBC, criticises the chair of the work and pensions committee for repeating “a number of highly defamatory and false statements”.
Green took exception to Field saying in a Channel 4 interview that Green was “running Arcadia into the ground like BHS”, noting that his Arcadia empire had 22,000 employees “who do not deserve to be treated in this manner”.
The retail tycoon also criticised Field for his lack of remorse for saying Green had been “nicking money off other people”. That was a charge for which the recent enquiry found no evidence.
Despite listing the defamatory statements in question, the letter states rather pointedly: “It is perfectly clear that you are now goading Sir Philip and Arcadia to sue you. We do not wish to waste our time at this stage getting into litigation with you.”
The Commons debate is scheduled for 11.30am, though an MPs vote isn't enough to strip Green of his honour. If there is a vote tomorrow and it goes against Green, the final decision will be left to the Honours Forfeiture Committee, chaired by the head of the civil service, to make.
Field said he thought MPs would back the motion "overwhelmingly" because "there is certainly a lot of anger in the country over his knighthood."
Green has said he remains committed to "sorting" the huge deficit in the BHS pension scheme and preventing it falling into the Pension Protection Fund, though a resolution has not yet been made.