Frank Field, chairman of the work and pensions committee and co-chair of this week’s parliamentary select committee report into the demise of BHS, is demanding the extension of tests to assess the suitability of company directors after raising concerns about corporate governance in Sir Philip Green’s group of companies.
“The question must now be asked whether Sir Philip Green can now be trusted at the tiller of Arcadia – another private company with thousands of employees, a massive deficit and a near identical cast of yes-men on the board,” Field told Sky News.
“Would you trust him with your pension? Your job?” Field asked.
A spokeswoman for the work and pensions select committee confirmed that Field planned to raise his concerns with business secretary Greg Clark and will call for tougher rules to apply to private companies.
He told Drapers on Monday that he will also raise the issue with prime minister Theresa May, who has said she will not tolerate irresponsible corporate behaviour.
The spokeswoman also confirmed that Field will not apologise for his comments made on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, to which Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green demanded an apology within 24 hours.
Green appointed law firm Schillings to demand an apology for Field’s allegations that he had stolen money from the BHS and Arcadia pension funds.
Schillings said an allegation that Green is a thief is likely to cause serious harm and requested a response within 24 hours on Monday evening.
The spokeswoman said she did not think Field had sent a formal response and he had no plans to apologise.
Green called the select committee report into the downfall of BHS the “predetermined and inaccurate output of a biased and unfair process” earlier this week.
He reiterated that he is trying to find a solution for the BHS pension and continuing to work with The Pensions Regulator to achieve an outcome.
“I am sad and sorry for all the BHS people caught up in this horrid story, but I do not believe that this story is being in any way fairly portrayed,” he added.
Sir Philip Green declined to comment.