AN ARMY of financial experts will be called in to probe Sir Philip Green’s role in the collapse of BHS.

The 64-year-old billionaire faces disqualification as a company director if he is found guilty of misconduct by the inquiry.

However Lady Green will not be ordered to face MPs’ questions after the retail tycoon secured a deal to let his Monaco-residing wife, who own’s the majority of his empire, be spared questioning.

MP Frank Field said that the joint committees working on the inquiry are in the process of recruiting legal, accounting and financial advisers in order to be “fully prepared” for when they grill Sir Philip over the department store chain’s demise.

Mr Field said: “We are in the process of appointing a panel of advisers to pour through BHS’ accounts. This will include legal, accounting and financial specialists. It will be one of the most distinguished panels ever seen.

“We want to do Parliament proud and be as prepared as we can be.”

The Work and Pensions Committee and Business Committee have asked Sir Philip to appear before them on June 15.

Lady Green, in whose name his Arcadia retail empire is run from Monaco, will not be called to give evidence.

Mr Field revealed that Sir Philip offered to attend only if his wife was not forced to appear.

He said: “Sir Philip said that if he came, would we leave Tina out of it and I agreed. There’s nothing she knows that he doesn’t.”

Sir Philip has come in for widespread criticism after the 90-year-old business collapsed last week, months after he sold it for £1, putting 11,000 jobs at risk and leaving a £571 million pension fund deficit.

Both Sir Philip and the man he sold BHS to, Dominic Chappell, will be quizzed.

BHS had stores in Brighton’s Churchill Square as well as in Crawley, Eastbourne, Worthing, Hastings, Chichester and Horsham.

MPs will probe the billionaire over a £400 million dividend payment made to his family from the business and over his management of the pension scheme.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has also ordered the Insolvency Service to carry out an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of BHS, including the extent to which directors’ conduct was to blame.

The investigation will look not only at the company’s directors at the time of its insolvency, but also previous directors such as Sir Philip. Any of them found to have been involved in misconduct could be disqualified from acting as a director for up to 15 years.


AFTER 27 years working at BHS, Celia Marchant left the retailer in 2000 with a “lifeline” pension and a 20 per cent discount card.

Mrs Marchant, 77, lives in an assisted housing block in Graham Avenue, Portslade, with her 83-year-old husband, Brian.

She spends her time at coffee mornings and quiz nights in the block to stay active, with the odd shopping trip to Brighton or Shoreham.

And every now and again she meets up with old friends and former colleagues in the Brighton store’s cafe for a catch-up.

Earlier this week their BHS pensions and the ailing chain’s plight were front page news.

Mrs Marchant said: “The BHS pension is a lifeline – it helps to keep you in your flat.

“I’m on a normal state pension. You are trying to keep up with everything now because it’s so expensive.”

Mrs Marchant is still set to get her £158-a-month BHS pension because she has passed retirement age.

She said: “No more money will go into it, we have been told. It’s not very good but we have to count our blessings.

“I’m very lucky to have my BHS pension and I do hope and pray I don’t lose it.

“The workers in the stores are the ones I’m worried about.

“We’re all hoping there’s a reprieve for BHS but who knows?”

Symbolic of the chain’s predicament, the 20 per cent discount to reward Mrs Marchant’s loyalty is also no more.

She said: “That was one of our little perks – I think it’s awful. We were all a little bit stunned.”

In days gone by, former staff were given a free coffee in the store’s cafe and even had a seat at the table for an annual Christmas meal.

Mrs Marchant said: “It’s changed tremendously. We were all a close community but because so many of us have retired there aren’t many of us left anymore. It’s not the same at all.”

Mrs Marchant, married for 57 years, moved to Brighton from Portsmouth when she was three years old and lived in Grand Parade and then Hillside in Moulsecoomb.

She used to work at Woolworths in London Road, Brighton, before her stint at BHS beginning in 1973.

Mrs Marchant remembers Sir Philip taking over BHS as she was retiring, introducinged new lines that, she believes, rivalled M&S for quality.

“Now he has a lot to answer for. He has had a lot of money out of it,” she said, ahead of Sir Philip being summoned to appear before a Government panel.

Her circumstances draw a contrast with Sir Philip’s other half, Lady Green.

Mrs Marchant said: “I had a good read-up about this mess and thought, my God, what have they done?

“It looks to me as if she’s off the hook, doing all right out of it as usual. There are too many people like that.”


LADY Green spends her days jetting around the world attending celebrity birthday bashes, charity galas and gallery openings.

She officially lives in Monaco but flits between LA, Cannes and London on her private jet.

Their home in Monte Carlo overlooks the private bay where their super-yachts are kept.

As well as the 200 foot Lioness, she is also awaiting delivery of a new 300ft yacht.

The £100 million four-storey Lionheart will be the biggest boat made by Tuscan super-yacht builders Belletti.

It will surpass in size and lavish detail even the Trump Princess – the yacht Donald Trump bought from Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi.

Widely hailed as Monaco’s Mrs Dalloway, Lady Green’s days are a dizzying whirl of drumming up ways to spend her family’s £5 billion fortune and throwing the world’s most indulgent star-studded parties.

For her son Brandon’s barmitzvah, she booked Beyoncé.

For her husband’s £5 million 55th birthday, she flew 200 guests by private jet to a resort in Cyprus.

And for his 60th she orchestrated a four-day bash in Mexico with a guest list including Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Campbell, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.

Sir Philip jets between homes in Monaco and London and pays UK tax.

But Lady Green – who owns all the family shares in Jersey-registered Taveta Investments (which holds 92 per cent of his the Arcadia Group) – is a Monaco resident.

Wikipedia describes Lady Green as born in South Africa, but she is adamant she’s British – despite being a Monaco resident for tax purposes.

She said in an interview: “According to the internet, I am South African. Rubbish. Before marrying Philip I married a South African, Bobby Palos, who was a jazz drummer.

“I was born in England. My father worked in the wine business and I grew up in Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.”

While she lives in Monaco, any wealth accumulated in her name remains – quite legally – beyond the reach of the Inland Revenue.

Sir Philip tells people his wife “does not talk to the media”.

But in a rare interview, Lady Green was asked about the resentment her wealth caused.

She said: “It’s about how England is. And It’s too scary for me.”