Belfast Telegraph

Sir Philip Green told 'to get on with signing cheque' over BHS pension deficit

Frank Field has brushed off the looming threat of legal action from retail billionaire Sir Philip Green, urging the tycoon to instead "get on with signing a cheque" to cover BHS's pension deficit.

The veteran MP, who headed up a parliamentary inquiry into the retailer's collapse, received a letter from Sir Philip's solicitors Schillings on Monday.

It demanded an "immediate and fulsome apology" after what it called "highly defamatory and completely false" statements by Mr Field about Sir Philip and money from the pension funds of the BHS and Arcadia retail groups.

However, speaking to the Press Association, Mr Field said he was not going to seek his own legal representation and urged to Sir Philip to "stop this displacement and get on with signing a cheque".

He added: "He should take action, and whether he will take action against me is up to him. Of course, the people want him to take action on the pension fund and not chase me."

Mr Field wants Sir Philip, who took over £400 million in dividends from BHS during his 15 year ownership, to stump up cash to fund its £571 million pension black hole.

For his part, Sir Philip has insisted he is "trying to find a solution" for the pension scheme and has apologised to staff caught up in the "horrid story".

The war of words could now be taken to the courts, with Schillings now understood to be considering "other remedies" following Mr Field's remarks.

The latest row has erupted following the publication of a damning report into the collapse of BHS which lambasted Sir Philip's ownership of the doomed department store chain.

The billionaire is now facing mounting pressure to be stripped of his knighthood and has been dubbed the "unacceptable face of capitalism".