Watch: Clive Lewis says Sir Philip Green used BHS to line his own pockets and then jumped ship like the proverbial rat from a sinking ship

Clive Lewis. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Clive Lewis. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Clive Lewis has said MPs need to bring in new legislation to prevent a repeat of the BHS collapse rather than 'indulge in competitive scapegoating'.

The Norwich South MP, who was recently appointed as shadow business secretary, made the comments before MPs approved a motion recommending former BHS owner Sir Philip Green should be stripped of his knighthood.

The proposal tabled in the Commons asked for the Honours Forfeiture Committee to recommend the billionaire businessman's knighthood is 'cancelled and annulled'.

MPs backed the non-binding motion unopposed, meaning no full vote was needed.

The decision came after a near three-hour debate in which Sir Philip faced accusations of behaving like Napoleon and Robert Maxwell, as well as being an 'asset-stripper'.


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BHS went into administration shortly after being sold for £1 by Sir Philip, with a £571 million pension scheme deficit.

Mr Lewis also condemned Sir Philip, telling MPs: 'Sir Philip Green treated British Home Stores as his own personal play thing.

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'He failed to invest in the company's branches, be neglected the brand, he ran down the pension scheme.

'In effect, he used the company to line his own pockets, and then jumped ship like the proverbial rat from a sinking ship.'

But Mr Lewis said it was now up to MPs to bring in new legislation to ensure a similar situation cannot happen again.

Mr Lewis added: 'If all we do today is posture in condemnation of one man, we are doing little except indulge in competitive scapegoating.

'The most extraordinary thing about the whole affair is that legally, Sir Philip Green has done nothing wrong.

'We cannot escape our own responsibility for this affair.'

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