Labour calls for Sir Philip Green to lose knighthood if allegations are true

The Labour Party has renewed calls for businessman Sir Philip Green to be stripped of his knighthood if the newly-revealed allegations against him are true.

On Friday details of the allegations made against Sir Philip were published by the Daily Telegraph after his legal action against the newspaper ended at the High Court earlier that day.

The report included claims he mocked a male employee’s dreadlocks and groped a female executive, paying her more than £1 million to stay quiet.

And on Saturday Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery called for the retail tycoon’s honour to be removed if the reports are accurate.

He said: “If the allegations are true, then Philip Green should be stripped of his knighthood.

“The public rightly expect high standards from public figures and they’re not getting it.

“The honours system is clearly flawed and the Prime Minister should take steps to remove honours from people who bring their office into disrepute.

“Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should never be used to suppress allegations of criminal behaviour so the next Labour government will review the statute book to ensure that the law protects the voices of survivors.”

In October Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable also called for Sir Philip to lose his knighthood if the allegations were true.

The Telegraph said the Arcadia boss paid out millions in settlements with staff members, who include a senior female executive who was allegedly called a “naughty girl” by Sir Philip.

The newspaper said he allegedly kissed her face on a number of occasions, slapped her bottom and made comments about her weight.

According to the Telegraph, Sir Philip also allegedly drew attention to the dreadlocks of a senior male executive in front of other staff, and referred to him “throwing spears in the jungle”.

And the paper reported he was told not to come any closer by a woman whose face he is said to have grabbed, allegedly dragged another senior female staff member around in a headlock and allegedly smashed a male staff member’s mobile phone in an aggressive dressing down.

Lord Hain
Lord Hain in the House of Lords naming Sir Philip Green as the businessman behind an injunction against the Daily Telegraph (PA)

The court injunction was first sought after Sir Philip and an executive at his Arcadia firm were contacted by a Telegraph journalist in July last year.

The newspaper intended to publish allegations of misconduct made against Sir Philip by the employees, who all received substantial payments after settling their claims.

In all five cases, the employees had agreed to keep the details of their complaints confidential under NDAs.

Sir Philip obtained the injunction, but last week it emerged that he was dropping the case because it was “pointless” after he was named in Parliament as the businessman behind an injunction against the newspaper.

Lawyers representing the Topshop owner said the decision was prompted by Lord Hain’s identification of Sir Philip in the House of Lords in October last year, a day after the Telegraph ran a front-page story saying it was prevented from naming a “mystery businessman”.

In a ruling in London on Friday, Mr Justice Warby granted Sir Philip and two of his companies permission to discontinue the proceedings – which was needed because of the injunction.

However, the judge declined to impose conditions to stop Sir Philip and the companies suing either the Telegraph or the former employees in future, as requested by the newspaper.

In his judgment, the judge said lawyers representing the Telegraph had said Sir Philip’s “unlawful” conduct was “sufficiently serious to engage the public interest, including as it does unwanted contact of a sexual nature; general sexual harassment; racist language; and intimidation and bullying; many amounting to criminal offences, and all having serious consequences for employees, in particular for their health and wellbeing”.

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