HAIN WON’T BACK DOWN OVER GREEN
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