Sir Philip Green complaint over Lord Hain dismissed

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PA

The House of Lords standards body has dismissed a complaint that Lord Hain failed to declare an interest when he named Sir Philip Green as the subject of inappropriate conduct allegations.

Former Northern Ireland secretary Lord Hain was the first to name the Topshop owner, who had an injunction preventing the Daily Telegraph naming him.

Sir Philip’s lawyers said Lord Hain had failed to declare his role as an adviser to law firm Ince Gordon Dadds.

It acted for the Telegraph in the case.

Sir Philip’s lawyers, Schillings, also complained that Lord Hain’s statement should be seen as providing a Parliamentary service for money.

The House of Lords Standards Commissioner, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, rejected that allegation.

Ms Scott-Moncrieff said Lord Hain could not have declared any interest, as he was not aware of Ince Gordon Dadds’ involvement in the Green case.

She said: “It would be unreasonable to censure him for failing to declare an interest of which he was unaware.”

Schillings also said Lord Hain had broken the sub judice rules in an abuse of parliamentary privilege.

She also said that the issues of sub judice and Parliamentary privilege were not matters for her to judge.

High Street king

Earlier this year, Sir Philip dropped the legal action against the Daily Telegraph, which prevented the newspaper publishing details of allegations of sexual harassment and racist behaviour.

Sir Philip has denied allegations of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour.

When the allegations first emerged, Sir Philip acknowledged there had “been some banter”, but said it had “never been offensive”.

At the heart of the issue are non-disclosure agreements signed by five individuals.

Sir Philip used to be known as the king of the High Street.

He built a fortune from a retail empire that included Topshop, BHS, Burton and Miss Selfridge.

He sold BHS in March 2015 for £1, but it went into administration a year later, leaving a £571m hole in its pension fund.

He and his wife Cristina are estimated by Forbes to be worth £3.8bn.