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Philip Green says it was only 'banter'

Arcadia Group boss Sir Philip Green has spoken out about allegations of bullying, racism and sexual harassment, and said he has had “the worst week of his life”.

On 25 October, Lord Hain named Green as the businessman behind an injunction against the Daily Telegraph, which stopped the newspaper naming him in a report following an eight-month investigation into allegations of bullying, racism and sexual harassment. Green denied the claims.

He told The Mail on Sunday that he only indulged in “banter” with his staff.

“I’m very, very, very upset. I’m being used as target practice when there is zero [evidence] that anyone has turned up with. It’s injuring my business, all the people potentially working in the business, and it’s injuring me and my family.”

Green added: “I’ve been in business for more than 40 years. There has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I’m concerned that’s never been offensive.

“I’ve got a good relationship with all my staff. In all that time, until the recent issues, I’ve not had one litigation or complaint.

“If anything I’ve said has caused offence, I’m happy to apologise. Nothing I’ve said was ever meant to be offensive. Many people have worked for the family for many years and I’ve never had any problems.”

Meanwhile, Green is to file a complaint against Lord Hain, Sky News has reported.

The news channel reported Green said Hain had failed to disclose he had a financial relationship with the Daily Telegraph’s lawyers and plans to complain to the Lords authorities.

Hain acts as a global and governmental adviser for the law firm Gordon Dadds, which was acting for the Daily Telegraph.

Hain defended his actions saying: “I always comply fully with my House of Lords obligations, as I did on that occasion.”

In a statement last week responding to the alleged misconduct, Green said: “I am not commenting on anything that has happened in court or was said in parliament today. To the extent that it is suggested that I have been guilty of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour, I categorically and wholly deny these allegations. Arcadia and I take accusations and grievances from employees very seriously, and in the event that one is raised, it is thoroughly investigated.”

“Arcadia employs more than 20,000 people and in common with many large businesses sometimes receives formal complaints from employees. In some cases these are settled with the agreement of all parties and their legal advisers. These settlements are confidential so I cannot comment further on them.”



Readers' comments (5)

  • So it is was only "banter", that makes it ok then ?? I recall Richard Keys and Andy Gray lost their prestigious positions as Sky Sports presenter and chief pundit back in the heyday, due to the "banter" they had, which was caught and heard when not intended to be. If nothing is done with Green, then that is effectively saying that it's ok to have this type of banter, which is disguised as being harmless, even if there is intent. He's old school and clearly not up to date these days as to what can and cannot be said.

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  • at BHS, no woman would be in a lift with him. Just saying.

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  • I’m surprised that Drapers put this article up. Everyone knows they’re PRO green.

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  • Front page of the Guardian this weekend, very damaging reports of widespread and frequent verbal abuse and bullying. He has to stand down

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  • However factual The Guardian is, if everyone was removed for giving verbal abuse and bullying in the Rag Trade, you wouldn't have many people left!!!

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