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Norfolk MP calls for Topshop and BHS mogul Sir Philip Green to be stripped of his knighthood

George Freeman MP. Picture: Ian Burt

George Freeman MP. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A Norfolk MP has called on the prime minister to "stand up for decent standards" and strip disgraced tycoon Sir Philip Green of his knighthood.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday George Freeman, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk, said: “The honours system is designed to acknowledge and celebrate great public service to our nation.

“Does my right honourable friend agree that when a small minority of recipients of honours like Philip Green bring the system of honours and business into disrepute for being found to have behaved disgracefully, letting down the vast majority in business who set a higher standards, then it’s right that this party and this government should be the first to stand up for decent standards and look at beginning a process for seeing whether people who behave in that way should be stripped of their honour?”

Sir Philip has been accused of groping a female executive and making a racial slur at an employee after an investigation by the Daily Telegraph.

Mrs May agreed that the honours system was there to “recognise exceptional service and achievement in a wide range of public life”, adding: “If that recipient of an honour brings that honour into disrepute, steps should be taken to review that honour.

Sir Philip Green. Photo: Ian West/PA WireSir Philip Green. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

“There is a forfeiture process for that purpose, that does include an independent Forfeiture Committee, which gives recommendations to me for Her Majesty’s approval.

“That is the process, but it’s important that we have that, so that anybody who is in receipt of an honour, that brings honour into disrepute, that steps can be taken to review that.”

There have been previous calls for Sir Philip to lose his knighthood, handed out by the Queen in 2006 for services to the retail industry.

In 2016 the House of Commons passed a motion asking the Honours Forfeiture Committee to recommend it be “cancelled and annulled” over the BHS pensions scandal.

Sir Philip’s lawyers told Telegraph: “It is further denied that any of Sir Philip’s conduct towards employees amounted to any type of crime, or anything that would amount to gross misconduct, or a serious risk to health and safety.”

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