Campaigners swarmed Arcadia stores across the country on Saturday to protest against the tax status of its billionaire owner Sir Phillip Green.
More than 200 protesters from pressure group UK Uncut forced the closure of Topshop Oxford Circus. A sit-in was staged at 11am with campaigners sounding whistles and chanting “if you want to sell your clothes, pay your tax”. Police and security guards removed the protesters and the store re-opened at 2pm.
UK Uncut is targetting what it claims is tax avoidance by big businesses. The protests against Arcadia centre on a £1.2bn dividend payment which the retailer paid to Sir Philip’s Monaco-based wife, a nominal owner of the firm, five years ago.
A further 22 protests were staged at Arcadia stores elsewhere including Manchester, Brighton and Birmingham. At the Brighton store eight protesters were reported to have glued their hands to the inside of the shop window at Topshop’s Western Road branch.