Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has accused retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, from whom he purchased the company for £1 in 2015, of failing to help the embattled retailer.
Speaking before MPs on Wednesday (8 June), Chappell, who had thrice been declared bankrupt before taking control of the high street chain, said a "screaming and shouting" Green had blocked a last-ditch rescue plan put forward by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct.
"Philip [Green] went absolutely crazy, screaming and shouting down the phone that he didn't want to get involved with Mike Ashley," Chappell told MPs, adding the Arcadia boss then decided to call in a £35m (€44.8m, $51m) loan.
Chappell, who admitted making an undisclosed profit from the company insisted BHS had been "held to ransom" by Green and the Pension Regulator over the group's £571m pension black hole.
The former BHS owner told MPs he attempted to speak to the Pension Minister three times to address the issue, which is understood to have been a focal point of the negotiations to save the struggling retailer, only for her to cancel three times.
Chappell, who had earlier been described as a "Premier League liar" by former BHS chief executive Darren Topp, also said he was ready to sue Arcadia and Green over a property sale by the Arcadia boss to his stepson. According to Chappell, the sale saw BHS miss out on £3.5m.
Topp had also accused Chappell of "threatening to kill" him in a row over company funds, a claim which the latter vehemently denied before accusing administrator Duff & Phelps of being "heavily conflicted" because of their connection with Green.
Asked about the £1.5m loan that his other company, Retail Acquisitions, gave to the firm that owns his father's house, Chappell dismissed it as a "sideshow", saying that the loan was agreed by RAL's board and he voted in favour.
During his evidence, the former BHS boss, who offered an apology to the 11,000 staff set to lose their jobs for what he called an "avoidable travesty" described former BHS financial consultant Michael Hitchcock as "a man of many words and of very little delivery". Earlier on Wednesday, Hitchcock said Chappell did not grasp the severity of the events that were unfolding at the embattled retailer and called him a "Sunday pub league retailer at best."
On 3 June, the administrators announced they would close all remaining 163 BHS stores across the UK, after a suitable buyer could not be found for the embattled chain. The decision means that 8,000 members of staff are likely to lose their jobs, while an additional 3,000 contractor jobs could also be at risk.