Take it easy: Chairman of MPs' BIS committee says it's BHS, not The SopranosComments Off on Take it easy: Chairman of MPs' BIS committee says it's BHS, not The Sopranos
“Death threats belong to episodes of the Sopranos, not business life in a modern economy,” the chairman of the committee of MPs probing the BHS collapse has told the Evening Standard.
The Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s Iain Wright made reference to the gritty TV show, famed for guns and gangsters, after hearing explosive evidence yesterday in which ex-owner Dominic Chappell was accused of making death threats.
BHS boss Darren Topp alleged Chappell threatened to kill him when he questioned him about £1.5 million that was moved from BHS UK to a separate firm in Sweden.
Chappell has denied the allegation. He led Retail Acquisitions, which bought BHS from Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green in March 2015. It entered administration 13 months later.
Wright, who also this week grilled Mike Ashley over working conditions at Sports Direct, said: “We need to learn some very serious lessons from BHS for future mergers and acquisitions in this country.”
Former business secretary Vince Cable commented: “Green, Chappell and Ashley: what an advertisement for British business.”
Meanwhile the CBI said it does not comment on specific cases, but its deputy director-general Josh Hardie said: “Only by acting responsibly can businesses contribute to a thriving economy that works for everyone.”
A spokesman for Arcadia today denied some of the allegations made by Chappell, including that Green effectively blocked a rescue bid by Ashley for BHS.
“There is no truth whatsoever in Sir Philip Green or the company blocking a sale. Why would we?” the spokesman said.
Administrator Duff & Phelps also denied Green had influenced any of its decisions.