Controversial retail tycoon Sir Philip Green has hired a prolific human rights lawyer in an attempt to clear his name after the collapse of BHS.
According to The Sunday Times, Green – who owned the department store chain for 15 years before infamously selling it to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell in 2015 – hired Lord Pannick QC just days before MPs were due to vote on whether the Topshop owner should have his knighthood stripped.
The decision is scheduled to be made on Thursday, in which parliamentarians are also expected to debate the demise of BHS.
Green was previously labelled by MPs as the “unacceptable face of capitalism” after BHS went into administration with a £571 million pension deficit.
Work and Pensions Committee chairman Frank Field MP said he thought MPs would support stripping Green of his knighthood “overwhelmingly” because there was “a lot of anger in the country” over it.
Green said he would “sort” the pensions black hole when he was grilled by MPs during an inquiry in June, but a deal has not yet been made with the Pension Protection Fund.
He went on to apologise for the “sorry affair”.
“I would like to apologise sincerely to all the BHS people involved in this sorry affair,” Green said in a statement last month.
“Contrary to all the coverage I have been working on this issue on a daily basis, and will continue to do so with my best efforts to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all involved as soon as possible.”
BHS’ last physical store shuttered its doors for the last time in August.
A month later, it rose from the ashes as an online-only retailer under new owners, Qatar-based Al Mana Group.