Philip Green is a monster. I say that without even relying on the allegations made against him by people who have been silenced through aggressive use of non-disclosure agreements.
When he sold BHS for a pound to avoid making pension payments to hardworking shop staff we saw what kind of person he was. We also had a glimpse when he finally agreed to appear before MPs in parliament. He was rude, dismissive, and hectoring. For me the standout moment was when he turned to an MP, Richard Fuller, who wasn’t even questioning him and ordered him to stop staring at him.
At that moment I thought to myself ‘if that’s what he’s like to MPs in public and on tv, what is he like to his staff in a private workplace?’.
Well now we know. Some extremely brave people have broken their non-disclosure agreements to speak out. His alleged behaviour includes putting employees into a headlock, grabbing women’s faces with both hands and forcing them to kiss him, grabbing body parts, and telling a black man he should be in the jungle throwing spears.
If these allegations are true then some of it is potentially criminal. I wrote to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police asking them to investigate his workplaces and speak to employees who have been subject to NDA’s to see if any of his behaviour surpasses the threshold for prosecution. We also need to know if criminal behaviour is being hidden by NDA’s.
Very sadly the police have refused to do so. They want to wait until an alleged victim comes forward. This is outrageous because Philip Green is a powerful, rich, and well connected man and the people he picks on are always disempowered and lack the resources to defend themselves. I am following up with the Met, asking them for a named officer and I will personally contact his alleged victims if I have to and do everything I possibly can to provide the safe and supportive environment they need to achieve justice.
It is shocking that he still holds a knighthood. For crying out loud lets strip him of the title now, today.
We also need to urgently understand how many of these NDA’s are in use and how they are being used. I’m sure in certain circumstances they are indeed mutually beneficial. But it is also abundantly clear that they are also being used by the rich and powerful, and by large organisations, to suppress criminal behaviour. I’ve asked the Commons library for research into their use but there is no data at all on their use. This has to change.
We cannot live in a world where people with money and power can subvert the law in this way. We simply can’t. I’ve been working closely with journalists from the Telegraph who themselves have endured harassment and bullying from Philip Green, and other MP’s to try and change the insipid use of NDAs.
We have a long way to go, but I won’t be giving up.