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Protestors force Topshop stores to close


Topshop stores across the UK had to close their doors for periods during Saturday trading after angry protestors targeted the Arcadia-owned business.

Voicing their anger over tax avoidance by big business and wealthy individuals, the campaigners - organised by pressure group UK Uncut’s Big Society Revenue & Customs (BSRC) group - forced Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store to evacuate its customers.

Arcadia Group owner Sir Philip Green bore the brunt of the protests as further demonstrations during the course of the day saw trading interrupted at two more of his retail brands, Bhs and Dorothy Perkins.

Brighton’s Topshop was also targeted, with 18 activists arrested after the store was closed when people super-glued themselves to the shop window.

Anger was also directed at mobile phone retailer Vodafone and health and beauty specialist Boots.

Topshop and Vodafone outlets were closed for periods of time in a total of eight cities across the UK.

Daniel Garvin, 26, who is part of the BSRC group, said: “Philip Green is a multi-billionaire tax avoider, and yet is regarded by David Cameron as an appropriate man to advise the government on austerity.

“His missing millions need to be reclaimed and invested into public services, not into his wife’s bank account.”

The cause of UK Uncut’s concern is that Arcadia is owned by Taveta Investments Limited, a holding company registered in the tax-haven island of Jersey. The named owners are his wife and immediate family, who live in another tax haven, Monaco.

Defending his tax status in an interview with the BBC in August, Sir Philip said: “My wife’s not a tax exile - my family do not live in the United Kingdom, it’s somewhat different.

“We do pay all our tax in Britain. I think we have paid over the last five years some £300-400 million in taxes on profits that have been made on our company.

”I’m a UK taxpayer, I work here every week, we employ 45,000 people in the UK and we have got a £500 million payroll.”

Published on Monday 06 December by Editorial Assistant

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