The campaign to have Sir Philip Green's knighthood removed has been boosted today after the Cabinet Office confirmed that it was reviewing the situation. The former owner of ailing British department store BHS has been heavily criticised in recent months after he withdrew large amounts of money from shortly before he sold it, and it collapsed.
In a letter to Labour MP Jim McMahon, one of a group of MPs who demanded Green have his knighthood revoked, the Cabinet Office admitted that it was responding to the growing number of calls to have Green stripped of his honour. It said: "I hope you will understand that I cannot comment on the particular circumstances of Sir Philip, but I can assure you that the case is being reviewed."
A Cabinet Office spokesman told the Press Association: "Applications for forfeiture are considered by an independent committee. They have been clear that they will not consider reviewing an honour until any formal reviews or investigations which establish the facts of a case have been completed. However, we continue to keep the case under review."
Green has found himself a figure of public ire lately, after BHS, which employed around 11,000 people, went into administration with a £571m deficit in its staff pension fund. He had sold it for just £1 ($1.31) in March 2015, to Dominic Chappell, a businessman who had previously gone bankrupt three times.
The MPs of the work and pensions select committee hauled Green over the coals, after he was found to have made withdrawals of hundreds of millions of pounds. A report is expected to be published next week. For his part, Green argues that he put £421m into BHS in the 15 years he owned it. Twenty BHS stores ceased trading across Britain on Saturday, mostly in smaller towns and cities.
A spokesman for Sir Philip declined to comment, saying: "We will await the report of the work and pensions committee on Monday."