Sir Philip Green has demanded an "immediate apology" from MP Frank Field for comments he made about his running of the collapsed retailer.
However, it is quite plausible for someone to go on the offence when cornered and Sir Philip Green is definitely cornered after the report from the Business, Innovation and Skills and Work and Pensions committees which is co-chaired by Frank Field.
The report published on Monday after weeks of evidence from former executives and advisers says the “tragedy” of BHS was the “unacceptable face of capitalism” and raises questions about how the governance of private companies and their pension funds should be regulated.
So what did Frank Field say that has aroused Philip Green's ire?
Frank Field, the chair of the work and pensions committee, said: “[Green’s] reputation as the king of retail lies in the ruins of BHS. His family took out of BHS and Arcadia a fortune beyond the dreams of avarice and he is still to make good his boast of ‘fixing’ the pension fund. What kind of man is it who can count his fortune in billions but does not know what decent behaviour is?”
While Green is being nailed by the Business, Innovation and Skills and Work and Pensions committee, who else can feel the heat in connection to BHS?
Financial advisers namely Goldman Sachs, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloitte Haskin & Sells, and perhaps more, but these three have been found out to knowing how bad the deal was with Dominic Chappell.
When cornered, he [Green] used the last line of defence for a select committee guest: ignorance. He did not know the ins and outs of Arcadia’s accounts, inviting MPs instead to spend a day with his ‘back office’ of finance staff, and he did not know how the Green family’s trusts work, pointing to wife Tina’s control, a response that is likely to backfire. There might very well be more people and organisations that are neck deep in the BHS scandal, but the first one is Philip Green and he needs to pay, about half a billion pounds apparently.