Sir Philip Green's knighthood still under threat despite his £360m payout to ease BHS pensions black hole

Helen Cahill
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Green recently made a £360m payout to BHS pensioners (Source: Getty)

Sir Philip Green's knighthood is still under threat despite his unprecedented £363m cash contribution to the BHS pension scheme.

In a symbolic move, MPs voted to strip Green of his knighthood in October 2016. Earlier in the year one MP called him the “unacceptable face of capitalism” for his part in the collapse of BHS. However, it is the honours forfeiture committee that will make the ultimate decision on whether he keeps the knighthood.

Read more: Sir Philip Green contributes £363m to BHS pension scheme

Green has now made a substantial payout to the BHS pension scheme, which was left with a £571m deficit when he sold the high street retailer to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1. But the Cabinet Office has said it is still considering the case for the removal of Green's honour.

The government is taking the circumstances of BHS' collapse "very seriously" and the honours forfeiture committee is still waiting for the outcome of the Insolvency Service's investigation into the BHS' failure before making a decision.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the Cabinet Office told City A.M.: “The government is taking the circumstances surrounding the collapse of BHS very seriously, including investigations by the Insolvency Service and the Independent Pensions Regulator. It is important to ensure any consideration of Sir Philip’s case by the Forfeiture Committee should have the benefit of the findings of the independent inquiries into BHS by the relevant regulators.”

Read more: BHS pension scheme: What happens next?

The Insolvency Service's investigation into BHS, which is also investigating former directors of the company, has been fast-tracked due to the sensitive nature of the case. However, the watchdog has warned that the work may stretch into 2019; officials will be reviewing 1.4m electronic documents.

The committee is also waiting on conclusions from the Pensions Regulator. Ultimately, any decision made by the committee must also be rubber-stamped by the Queen.

A spokesperson for Green declined to comment.

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