This is a really important milestone on the road to justice for BHS
But Sir Philip Green ’s out-of-court settlement with The Pensions Regulator does not mark the end of that road. Far from it, in fact.
Let’s not forget that thousands of loyal BHS workers lost their livelihoods as a result of the shoddy way in which the company was managed – or mismanaged – in the years leading up to its downfall.
A barrow-load of money was taken out of the company in those years – filling the pockets of the Green family and a small army of well-paid advisers – while individual BHS outlets were left to rot.
The Commons Work and Pensions Committee, which I chair, has been pushing for justice for almost a year. Questions that came from our work – why did those in charge of BHS allow it all to end in tears for the company’s loyal workforce?
For example – will be answered in the year or two ahead of us. The Insolvency Service has beefed up its inquiry team that is taking a forensic look at how and why BHS went under.
The liquidator is, likewise, taking its work up a gear; poring through deals that took place.
So let us breathe a sigh of relief today for those BHS pensioners who will be able to enjoy a better retirement than looked likely before today.
But let us also keep a close eye on the net that is beginning to close around those responsible for the sorry demise of a once great British institution, and the loss of 11,000 jobs on our high streets.