Labour MP meets fraud chief over probe into ex-BHS owner Philip Green
MP Frank Field has held "constructive" discussions with the head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in his drive for a formal inquiry into BHS's former owner, Sir Philip Green.
The Labour veteran met SFO director David Green as he looks to turn the heat up on Sir Philip, who has been blasted for his role in the retailer's collapse.
Mr Field, who headed a parliamentary inquiry into the demise of the department store chain, wants the fraud squad to ascertain if the Topshop tycoon, along with Dominic Chappell, broke any laws during their respective ownerships.
He said: "The central concern that emerged from our inquiry was the rushed sale of a struggling high street institution to manifestly unsuitable buyers. There is no way someone with Sir Philip Green's experience believed they were anything but."
Sir Philip owned BHS for 15 years before selling it to serial bankrupt Mr Chappell for £1 in 2015. Sir Philip has come under fire for taking more than £400 million in dividends from the chain, leaving it with a £571 million pension deficit and for selling it to a man with no retail experience.
Mr Field continued: "The meeting with David Green was constructive. I was reassured by the tone of the discussions and the approach the SFO is taking. They, of course, operate independently and we assured them again of our absolute non-interference; we will simply send them all the evidence we have not published to consider and use as they will."
The SFO has so far held back from launching a formal probe into BHS's demise, which has affected 11,000 jobs and 22,000 pensions.