HAIN WON’T BACK DOWN OVER GREEN

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - PRESS AS­SO­CI­A­TION news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

FOR­MER cab­i­net min­is­ter Lord Hain has stood by his de­ci­sion to name Sir Philip Green as the busi­ness­man at the cen­tre of #MeToo al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and racial abuse.

The Labour peer – a for­mer Welsh Sec­re­tary and MP for Neath – named the Arcadia chair­man us­ing par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege, and Sir Philip has said he will com­plain to the Lords author­i­ties.

But Lord Hain told the Press As­so­ci­a­tion: “I stand res­o­lutely by what I’ve said and nei­ther re­tract nor apol­o­gise for stand­ing up for hu­man rights.”

He added: “I al­ways com­ply fully with my House of Lords obli­ga­tions as I did on that oc­ca­sion. His com­plaint is a malev­o­lent di­ver­sion.”

Lord Hain named Sir Philip in the Lords as be­ing the in­di­vid­ual be­hind a le­gal in­junc­tion prevent­ing the Daily Tele­graph from pub­lish­ing “con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion” from five em­ploy­ees.

Sir Philip said he would com­plain to the Lords author­i­ties that Lord Hain failed to dis­close he had a fi­nan­cial re­la­tion­ship with the Tele­graph’s lawyers.

He said: “When Lord Hain made al­le­ga­tions about me in the House of Lords ... he failed to dis­close that he has a fi­nan­cial re­la­tion­ship with the law firm, Gor­don Dadds, who rep­re­sent the Tele­graph.

“I have been ad­vised that his ac­tions are likely to have been a breach of the House of Lords Code of Con­duct. As many peo­ple have said, Lord Hain’s bla­tant dis­re­gard of a judge­ment made by three se­nior judges is out­ra­geous.

“If he hadn’t read the judge­ment, on what ba­sis was he ap­par­ently talk­ing about it. If he had, Gor­don Dadds’ name is on the front page. I will be lodg­ing for­mal com­plaints with the rel­e­vant author­i­ties in the House of Lords.”

Sir Philip re­peated that “to the ex­tent that it is sug­gested that I have been guilty of un­law­ful sex­ual or racist be­hav­iour, I cat­e­gor­i­cally and wholly deny these al­le­ga­tions”.

He re­fused to com­ment on Fri­day to a Sky News crew who tracked him down to the Canyon Ranch health re­sort in Tuc­son, Ari­zona. He told the re­porter who tried to ques­tion him: “Can you go away? I be­lieve you’re be­ing in­tru­sive.”

The BBC’s busi­ness ed­i­tor Si­mon Jack re­ported that the busi­ness­woman and star of the BBC’s The Ap­pren­tice, Baroness Brady, told him she would make a state­ment on Mon­day af­ter the Tele­graph high­lighted her role as chair­man of Taveta, the hold­ing com­pany of Arcadia.

Lord Hain has pre­vi­ously said he felt he had a “duty” to name Sir Philip, af­ter le­gal ex­perts crit­i­cised his de­ci­sion to ex­er­cise his right to do so while the case was still go­ing through the courts.

He in­sisted he took his de­ci­sion act­ing in a “per­sonal ca­pac­ity”, adding: “I cat­e­gor­i­cally state that I was com­pletely un­aware Gor­don Dadds were ad­vis­ing the Tele­graph re­gard­ing this case.

“Gor­don Dadds, a highly re­spected and rep­utable in­ter­na­tional law firm, played ab­so­lutely no part what­so­ever in ei­ther the sourc­ing of my in­for­ma­tion or my in­de­pen­dent de­ci­sion to name Sir Philip. They were com­pletely un­aware of my in­ten­tions un­til af­ter I spoke in the House of Lords.”

For­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral Do­minic Grieve QC said Lord Hain’s be­hav­iour had been “clearly ar­ro­gant” and he had abused par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege in de­cid­ing he knew bet­ter than the courts.

The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Sir Philip led to fresh calls for the Hon­ours For­fei­ture Com­mit­tee to con­sider with­draw­ing his knight­hood – pre­vi­ously chal­lenged in the furore over short­falls in the BHS pen­sion scheme.

Lord Hain told peers on Thurs­day he had been con­tacted by some­one “in­ti­mately in­volved” in a case of a wealthy busi­ness­man us­ing non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments and pay­ments “to con­ceal the truth about se­ri­ous and re­peated sex­ual ha­rass­ment, racist abuse and bul­ly­ing”.

The Tele­graph has writ­ten to Sir Philip’s lawyers threat­en­ing to quickly re­turn to court for the trial un­less they drop the in­junc­tion.

End­ing the le­gal bat­tle would al­low its re­porters to air the al­le­ga­tions from those who en­tered con­tro­ver­sial nondis­clo­sure agree­ments.

Sir Philip Green

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