GSK chief says top bosses should not get knighthoods

Helen Cahill
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MPs have branded Green "the unacceptable face of capitalism" (Source: Getty)

The boss of pharmaceutical giant GSK - who has himself been knighted - has said that businesspeople should not be rewarded with knighthoods.

Sir Philip Hampton told MPs that because top bosses were rewarded with their pay, they should not be in line for honours as well. His comments come after MPs made a symbolic vote to strip Sir Philip Green of his knighthood for his role in the collapse of BHS.

Speaking to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee, Hampton said: "The rewards for being in business should be primarily financial, and other awards and appreciations probably should be more directed to people who are not getting financial rewards.

Read more: MPs demand Sir Philip Green ends BHS black hole

"I think to get both the financial awards and the other marks of recognition is a bit too easy. The honours system has moved away from businessspeople getting awards, and that is right."

Although MPs have said they Green's knighthood should be removed, the ultimate decision will be made by the Honours Forfeiture Committee. The committee's discussions, headed up by senior civil servant Sir Jonathan Stephens, are confidential and the Queen rubber-stamps any decisions made.

Green's knighthood hangs in the balance after he sold BHS for £1 to Dominic Chappell, a serial bankrupt with little experience in retail. Following the sale, BHS went into administration, sparking a parliamentary inquiry that branded Green "the unacceptable face of capitalism".

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