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Ex-BHS employee: Sir Philip should be stripped of knighthood

A former BHS employee has called for Sir Philip Green's knighthood to be confiscated over the pension crisis claiming he "ran the store into the ground".

In an exclusive interview with ITV News, the former owner said he was sorry for the collapse of the chain and said that he considered buying the department store back off Dominic Chappell, who he sold it to for £1.

Grant Atterbury, who worked at the Tunbridge Wells store for eight years, said BHS could have been saved if money had been invested into the company rather than their "opulent lifestyles".

"It is a moral rather than a legal issue," Mr Atterbury said. "He's basically lived this opulent lifestyle while essentially running the store into the ground at the cost of employees and pensioners."

Calling for the knighthood to be taken away, he added: "What's really needed are laws and changes in attitudes so this sort of thing doesn't happen again."


Green: 'Bullying' MPs 'hide behind parliamentary privilege'

Sir Philip Green has accused MPs of "hiding behind parliamentary privilege" so they can "bully everyone".

The former BHS owner has faced fierce criticism from some MPs over his role in the company's collapse, particularly from Frank Field MP, chairman of the Work and Pensions select committee.

MPs are to debate whether Sir Philip should be stripped of his knighthood as a result of the BHS collapse, but in an exclusive interview with ITV News, he said: "I care about how these people are behaving, all hiding behind parliamentary privilege...and just the way they're going about it, trying to bully everybody."

  • Watch Robert Peston’s full interview with Sir Philip Green on ITV News at Ten tonight at 10pm

Frank Field: I hope Sir Philip is 'serious' about vow to fix BHS pensions crisis

Frank Field said that lots of people's lives depend on the crisis being resolved. Credit: ITV News

Labour MP Frank Field has told ITV News that he hopes Sir Philip Green is "serious" about resolving the BHS pensions crisis, after the company's former owner exclusively told ITV News he was "very sorry" for the hardship caused by the collapse of the high street chain.

Mr Field, who as Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee questioned Sir Philip over the collapse, said he would be the "first to congratulate" him when he resolves the firm's pension crisis.

While Mr Field said he did not doubt Sir Philip's commitment to "sort" the crisis, he added: "The key view is, what do the pensioners think after all this time? And that wonderful performance before the select committee suggesting that it would be sorted in a very short period of time."

Mr Field dismissed as "absurd" Sir Philip's claim in his interview with Robert Peston that he used parliamentary privilege as a "bullying" tactic during a select committee inquiry into the closure of BHS.

"The idea that somehow two select committees, some of whom were made up of members who should do this project... somehow can be manipulated by me is absurd," he said.


Rail firm DB Cargo plans to cut 900 UK jobs

Wagon trains of DB Cargo. Credit: Reuters

Rail freight company DB Cargo is planning to cut 900 jobs in the UK.

The company announced their decision on Tuesday and said the potential losses were due to a "dramatic decline" in markets such as coal.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: "This is devastating news brought on through a combination of cut-throat practices in the UK rail freight industry and a shocking lack of Government support for this key section of our transport infrastructure.

"It is imperative right now that the Government intervene to save skilled jobs in the rail freight industry which are being butchered before their eyes due to a lack of action to protect steel, coal and the rest of our manufacturing base."

DB Cargo is the largest rail freight haulier in the UK, employing more than 3,400 people across the country.

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