Sir Philip Green 'grabbed women's breasts', Lord Hain tells House of Lords

  • Video report by ITV News Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills

More details of sexual allegations against Topshop boss Sir Philip Green have been revealed in the House of Lords.

Using Parliamentary Privilege, Lord Hain said Green had "grabbed women's breasts" and "slapped their bottoms".

He also claimed hundreds of grievance cases had been made against the retail tycoon.

Sir Philip has denied the allegations and said: "How sad somebody who already has proven they're prepared to abuse the system wants to continue to behave in this manner."

In the House of Lords on Thursday Lord Hain quoted what the complainant had said about Sir Philip's actions.

"He was touching and repeatedly slapping women staff's bottoms, grabbing thighs and touching legs.

"Hundreds of grievance cases were raised with HR.

"The company lawyer who interviewed me then lied. Sir Philip screamed and shouted at staff 'to go to psychologists'."

Sir Philip Green's plan to revive his Arcadia business is in trouble. Credit: PA

Mr Hain said the staff member told him victims had gone to an employment tribunal, but were told "it would not get anywhere" so settled with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

"Some were worn down with spiralling legal costs costing them a fortune. He broke some in the end.

"It is rife, it happened all the time. I saw him grab the breasts of others. This has gone on for long time'," Mr Hain quoted the staff member as saying.

Sir Philip Green has denied the allegations. Credit: ITV News

Some of Arcadia's landlords also have problems with the CVA proposal.

They have told ITV News' Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills they believe that business will only survive in the long-term if he puts more money in.

Sir Philip needs 75% of Arcadia’s creditors to back his CVA in two weeks’ time.

If they don't there's a risk the business will go into administration.

Last year Lord Hain named the Topshop boss as the person behind a legal injunction stopping The Guardian newspaper publishing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.

  • How can Lord Hain name Sir Philip Green under Parliamentary privilege?

As Lord Hain stated, he named Sir Philip under what is known as Parliamentary privilege.

In effect, Parliamentary privilege grants MPs in the Commons and Lords certain legal immunities which allow them to perform their duties "without interference from outside of the House" - i.e. naming Sir Philip without backlash from the courts.

The concept derives from the 1689 Bill of Rights which provides that the proceedings of Parliament "may not be impeached or questioned" by any court.

The Parliament website puts it like this: "Parliamentary privilege includes freedom of speech and the right of both Houses to regulate their own affairs."