Former BHS owner, Sir Philip Green, has confirmed he will appear before a parliamentary committee investigating the company's financial collapse, following initial reports that he would side step an inquiry by MPs
On Saturday (11 June), Green labelled Frank Field, the chairperson of the work and pensions committee – which is investigating BHS – as "biased", and said he would not be attending unless the MP stepped down from his position.
"I am not prepared to participate in a process that has not even the pretence of fairness and objectivity and which has as its primary objective the destruction of my reputation," he added, upon Field's refusal to step down.
However, in a fresh statement issued on Wednesday (14 June), Green said: "I am disappointed not to have had a reply to either of my letters sent to Frank Field. I did not think or believe that those conducting a parliamentary process would or should express concluded views in such a public way before I have had the chance to appear before the committee."
He added: "Having given long and hard thought to the matter however, I have decided I will attend tomorrow morning, hoping and trusting that the committee will give me a fair hearing."
Green sold the retail group for £1 ($1.41) to a little known group of investors, led by Dominic Chappell, a year before it collapsed into administration. More than 11,000 staff now face unemployment and the company pension scheme is in deficit.
Field, a former welfare minister in the last Labour government, has been highly critical of Green, demanding that the former BHS owner be stripped of his knighthood.
Field also said his committee would "laugh" if the billionaire were to offer less than £600m to settle the beleaguered retail chain's pension debts when he goes before the committee. BHS' pension fund has a deficit of more than £571m, according to an initial probe. Sir Phillip and family had extracted several hundred million pounds during his stewardship.