Lord Hain: Sir Philip Green 'touched women’s breasts'

Sir Philip Green touched women’s breasts, peer claims

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Topshop boss Sir Philip Green grabbed women’s breasts, slapped their bottoms and grabbed their thighs, a peer has claimed.

The claims were made by Lord Peter Hain who last year used parliamentary privilege to identify Sir Philip as the person behind a legal injunction preventing a newspaper from publishing allegations against Sir Philip of sexual harassment and racial abuse, allegations he has "categorically and wholly" denied.

Responding to Lord Hain's latest claims, Sir Philip said: "How sad somebody who already has proven they're prepared to abuse the system wants to continue to behave in this manner."

Lord Hain said he was revealing the account of a victim for the first time as he defended the use of parliamentary privilege.

Arcadia Group boss Sir Philip Green

Speaking during a debate in the House of Lords, Lord Hain said he had originally named the businessman "for moral reasons" and was not "second-guessing or criticising the judiciary".

He said: "To explain why, I am revealing for the first time in public exactly what one of Sir Philip Green's victims told me whilst pleading with me to name him under parliamentary privilege.

"I quote: 'He was touching and repeatedly slapping women staff's bottoms, grabbing thighs and touching legs.

"'Hundreds of grievance cases were raised with HR. The company lawyer who interviewed me then lied. Sir Philip screamed and shouted at staff 'to go to psychologists'.

"My motive was to stand up for ordinary employees against a very powerful and wealthy boss who, as described to me, seemed to think he was above the rules of decent, respectful behaviour."

Lord Hain has previously used parliamentary privilege twice; in 2000, to name traffickers selling arms to fuel war in Africa, and in 2017 against British corporations complicit in former President Zuma’s activities in South Africa.

The former justice of the Supreme Court, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, criticised Lord Hain’s use of parliamentary privilege to name Sir Philip.

"I regard his statement as a misuse, indeed I would suggest a clear abuse, of privilege," he said.

"I accept Lord Hain is an honourable man but I reject utterly his suggestion that his own subjective view of what is right must always prevail over a court order."

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