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At last Green pays up £363m

SIR PHILIP GREEN has agreed to pay £363million to protect the pensions of thousands of former staff at collapsed chain BHS.

The billionaire tycoon did a deal with the Pensions Regulator after facing criticism over his role in the company’s demise. The 64-year-old, who took £400million in dividends from BHS, sold it for £1, a year before it went under with a £571million hole in its pension pot.

He said his £363million ‘voluntary contribution’ towards the shortfall ensured a better outcome for ex-employees than if they had to rely on the government-sponsored Pension Protection Fund.

Sir Philip, nicknamed Sir Shifty by critics, apologised to the 11,000 workers who lost their jobs and 19,000 pension-holders hit after he sold up to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

‘This last year of uncertainty was clearly never the intention when the business was sold,’ he said.

No.10 welcomed ‘a positive outcome which will bring peace of mind to the BHS pensioners’.

But Labour MP Frank Field, who co-chaired a parliamentary inquiry into the BHS fiasco, said Sir Philip may still face penalties and be stripped of his knighthood.

His party colleague Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, said: ‘This deal falls far short of justice being done.’