Baroness Ros Altmann was “bullied and intimidated” by Sir Philip Green over the BHS pensions scandal, she has revealed.
Writing in The Telegraph on Friday, Altmann said that she was “bombarded with texts” from Green who was “furious” about The Pensions Regulator’s investigation into the BHS pension scheme after he sold the business for £1 to Dominic Chappell in 2015.
According to Altmann, who was Pensions Minister at the time, Green felt that she had some way of influencing the regulator, despite her constant rebuffs that it would not be appropriate for her to intervene.
Commenting in The Telegraph, she said: “It was January 2016, and because I was Pensions Minister, Sir Philip probably thought that I had some way of influencing The Pensions Regulator. He bullied and intimidated me over the course of several weeks.
“I suspect he believed, perhaps because we had shared acquaintances outside of the business world, that I would break the rules for him. He became angry when I refused to do so.”
Altmann added that she received 22 texts between January 27 and February 2, with some sent in the early hours and late at night.
“I don’t think women in 2018 should be treated that way … I felt threatened and upset - I effectively had to fight him off - he wanted me to break rules and got cross with me because I wouldn’t,” she said.
“I owe it to my two daughters - and my son to speak out. I know how hard it was for me and how stressed and distressed I felt and I don't want other women to have to go through that. However rich and powerful they are, men have no right to treat women like this.”
Last week, Green was named as the businessman accused by The Telegraph of sexual and racial harassment in the House of Lords by Lord Peter Hain, after a Court of Appeal issued an injection prevented the paper from naming him.
Green previously said “he behaved like a gentlemen” in relation to the BHS collapse.
In June, the High Court refused an injunction request by former BHS owner Philip Green to block the Financial Reporting Council from publishing the full details of its report into the failed department store chain.
Chappell was convicted at Brighton Magistrates’ Court in January this year for his role in the BHS saga. He was found guilty of three offences, of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents without a reasonable excuse.