Specialists recruited to help quiz Sir Philip Green over BHS


MPs investigating Sir Philip Green's role in the collapse of retailer BHS are recruiting an army of specialist financial experts in order to pour through the company's finances.

Frank Field MP told the Press Association that the joint committees working on the inquiry are in the process of recruiting legal, accounting and financial advisers in order to be "fully prepared" for when they grill Sir Philip over the department store chain's administration.

Mr Field said: "We are in the process of appointing a panel of advisers to pour through BHS' accounts. This will include legal, accounting and financial specialists. It will be one of the most distinguished panels ever seen, we want to do parliament proud and be as prepared as we can be."

The Work and Pensions Committee and Business Committee have asked Sir Phiilp to appear before them on June 15.

Mr Field, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, added: "We fully expect to see Sir Philip in attendance on June 15."

Sir Philip's wife Tina, in whose name his Arcadia retail empire is run from Monaco, will no longer be called to give evidence.

Mr Field also revealed that Sir Philip offered to attend only if his wife was not forced to appear.

"Sir Philip said that if he came, would we leave Tina out of it and I agreed. There's nothing she knows that he doesn't," he said.

Sir Philip has come in for widespread criticism after the 90-year-old retailer collapsed last week, months after he sold it for £1, putting 11,000 jobs at risk and leaving a £571 million pension fund deficit.

Both Sir Philip and the man he sold BHS to - Dominic Chappell - will be quizzed.

MPs will probe the billionaire over a £400 million dividend payment made to his family from the business and over his management of the pension scheme.

The Business Secretary Sajid Javid has also ordered the Insolvency Service to carry out an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of BHS, including the extent to which directors' conduct was to blame.

The investigation will look not only at the company's directors at the time of its insolvency, but also previous directors such as Sir Philip. Any of them found to have been involved in misconduct could be disqualified from acting as a director for up to 15 years.