Ex- BHS boss calls on Frank Field to step down from pensions inquiry

Frank Field MP

The former owner of BHS has called on Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field to resign from his committee’s probe of the collapsed retailer’s pension fund.

BHS fell into administration last week, and Sir Phillip Green, who sold the retailer to a group of investors for £1 in 2015, is due to be grilled by MPs on his handling of its pension fund as part of an inquiry starting next week.

In an interview with the FT, committee chair Frank Field said that he would recommend stripping Green of his knighthood if the retail tycoon did not put up funds to pay off BHS’ £571m pension fund deficit.

However, Green has now hit back, calling Field “prejudiced” and demanding the MP stands aside from the probe.

In a statement Green said: “Clearly he has already made his decision as to what he feels the punishment should be without even hearing any evidence from anybody about BHS or the circumstances of the last 15 years.

“As Monday is the first hearing with the regulator and the Pension Protection Fund, how can this be a balanced hearing based on this outrageous outburst this afternoon?

“I think Mr Field needs to stand down from the inquiry immediately as he is clearly prejudiced.”

There are fears the defined benefit scheme will fall into the PPF following the retailer’s collapse, meaning staff yet to retire will have their pensions capped.