Sir Philip Green under fire for furloughing workers

Sir Philip Green under fire for continuing to take millions in taxpayer furlough cash as other fashion chains hand back handouts – while he strolls around Monaco

  • Arcadia Group furloughed 14,500 staff under Rishi Sunak’s job retention scheme
  • Source revealed some staff have gone back but many still remain furloughed
  • Green, 68, was spotted in Monaco this week browsing multimillion pound yachts

Sir Philip Green has come under fire for continuing to take millions in taxpayer cash to furlough workers.

The Arcadia Group – whose brands include Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge – furloughed 14,500 staff in April under Rishi Sunak’s job retention scheme.

A source close to Arcadia has revealed that some staff had gone back to work after the reopening of 631 stores, but that others remained furloughed. 

It comes as Green, 68, was spotted in Monaco this week browsing multimillion pound luxury yachts.

The source told The Times: ‘Nobody’s going to bring all their staff back, are they?There’s way too many unknowns. We’re living in a world where nobody’s ever been before.’

Sir Philip Green has come under fire for continuing to take millions in taxpayer cash to furlough workers. Pictured: he was seen strolling around Monaco looking at yachts this week 

Sir Philip Green has come under fire for continuing to take millions in taxpayer cash to furlough workers

His decision to keep using the scheme – which pays 80 per cent of wages – is in stark contrast to other retailers who have refunded HM Revenue & Customs after deciding that they no longer need the financial assistance.   

The successful fast-fashion company Boohoo headed by billionaire Mahmud Kamani, 55, is returning furlough money. Kamani said: ‘You always have to give back, especially when you’re doing OK.’

Critics have questioned how much Green needs to rely on taxpayers’ money to keep his business afloat. He has lived in the tax haven of Monaco since 1998 and has a fortune of £930million according to The Sunday Times Rich List. 

The Topshop tycoon stopped to look at Khalilah, a 157ft gold super yacht with five bedrooms on the market for €28.5m (£25.8m) before saluting and walking off in Monaco this week.  

It comes after Victoria Beckham abandoned plans to seek a government bailout to furlough 30 members of staff at her fashion brand following a major backlash in April.  

The Topshop tycoon stopped to look at Khalilah, a 157ft gold super yacht with five bedrooms on the market for €28.5m (£25.8m) before saluting and walking off in Monaco this week

Critics have questioned how much Green needs to rely on taxpayers’ money to keep his business afloat. He has lived in the tax haven of Monaco since 1998 and has a fortune of £930million according to The Sunday Times Rich List. He is pictured with his daughter Chloe and wife Tina

The former Spice Girl, whose family is worth £335million, had planned to use the Government’s Covid-19 scheme to pay 80 per cent of the wages of some of her staff.

The former Labour MP Frank Fields, who criticised Green when BHS collapsed in 2016 after he sold it, told The Times: ‘He seems to replay the past when he’s seen what the consequences are. He continues to play like that, with just so many people being hurt by his behaviour. 

‘He thinks there will be nothing to apologise for on the last day of judgment — he’ll just argue with God that he’s got it wrong.’

It comes amid fears the Covid-19 crisis has brought forward the demise of the High Street by up to three years as more people switch to shopping online, with thousands of traditional bricks and mortar stores set to be wiped out.  

Debenhams has revealed that 20 of its departments stores will never re-open, while many others are closing outlets.

The fast fashion retailer Quiz is closing 11 stores permanently, while Victoria’s Secret and Monsoon Accessorize recently went into administration. 

Sir Philip has faced repeated calls to lose his knighthood over his involvement in a string of controversies.

Last year, a member of the House of Lords claimed the businessman had ‘multiple’ grievance claims against him. Green denied all the claims. 

The allegations were revealed by Lord Hain, who last year used the cloak of parliamentary privilege to identify the Topshop boss as the person behind a legal injunction preventing the Daily Telegraph from publishing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.

Green, 68, – who was spotted in Monaco this week browsing multimillion pound luxury yachts – is also withholding rent payments from landlords, even though most of his high-street empire reopened last week. Pictured is one of his yachts ‘Lionheart’

The claims, which Sir Philip ‘categorically and wholly denied’, included allegations that the retail tycoon dragged a woman around in a headlock and smashed a male employee’s mobile phone. 

It was also claimed that he mocked a male employee’s dreadlocks and referred to him ‘throwing spears in the jungle’.

Sir Philip also faced allegations that he groped a female executive, paying her more than £1million to stay quiet.

He has not been to Britain since the claims surfaced in October 2018 and has run Arcadia either from his penthouse in Monaco or from Lionheart, his family’s £100m superyacht. 

Green enjoyed almost two decades of ruling the high street after lucrative takeovers of BHS in 2000 and Arcadia in 2002

Green enjoyed almost two decades of ruling the high street after lucrative takeovers of BHS in 2000 and Arcadia in 2002.     

The collapse of BHS – less than a year after he sold it for £1 – plunged Green into even more controversy.   

Arcadia was in trouble even before the current coronavirus crisis. It recorded an operating loss of £138m on turnover of £1.8bn in 2018.

Last year Arcadia carried out an insolvency procedure known as a company voluntary arrangement to cut rents and close some shops. 

Arcadia Group have been contacted by MailOnline for comment. 

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