Sir Philip Green faces the prospect of being humbled in Parliament after MPs were given the chance to vote on calls to strip him of his knighthood.
More than 110 MPs have backed an amendment tabled in the Commons, which asks for the Honours Forfeiture Committee to recommend the Jewish billionaire businessman’s knighthood is “cancelled and annulled”.
John Bercow’s office said the Speaker has selected the amendment, meaning it will be included in Thursday’s debate probing the collapse of BHS.
His decision offers MPs the opportunity to force a vote on the issue although any decision would be non-binding and merely a symbolic act.
MPs will also use the debate to call on Sir Philip to “fulfil his promise” to resolve the retail chain’s multimillion-pound pension fund black hole during a Commons debate.
BHS went into administration shortly after being sold for £1 by Sir Philip, with a £571 million pension scheme deficit.
He was awarded his title in 2006 for services to retail.
A motion for debate – led by Labour’s Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee – states: “That this House notes the recent joint report by the Business, Innovation and Skills and the Work and Pensions Committees on BHS.
“(This House) endorses that report’s criticisms of the governance of the company and of the holding company, Taveta Investments Limited.
“(This House) believes that the sale of the company to Retail Acquisitions Limited for £1 was clearly not in the interests of British Home Stores’ employees and pensioners.
“(This House) notes the failure of Sir Philip Green over many years to resolve the deficit in the BHS pension fund; and calls on him to fulfil his promise to do so forthwith.”
The amendment from Conservative Richard Fuller and independent Michelle Thomson adds: “(This House) noting that Philip Green received his knighthood for his services for the retail industry, believes his actions raise the question of whether he should be allowed to continue to be a holder of the honour and calls on the Honours Forfeiture Committee to recommend his knighthood be cancelled and annulled.”
Ahead of the parliamentary debate, Sir Philip renewed hostilities with Mr Field.
In a letter sent by the businessman’s holding company Taveta, he accuses the Labour veteran of “highly defamatory and false statements” for dragging the tycoon’s Arcadia group into the BHS saga.
The letter references comments made by the MP to Channel 4, in which he compared the way BHS was run to the state of Sir Philip’s Arcadia empire, which houses Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.
It accuses Mr Field of causing “distress” to Arcadia’s 22,000 employees by suggesting Sir Philip is “running Arcadia into the ground like BHS”.
Sir Philip’s letter said there is “absolutely no substance” to the allegations.
Mr Field has led the charge against Sir Philip over BHS’s collapse, dragging him before MPs to explain his actions.
Downing Street said the question of Sir Philip’s knighthood was a matter for the independent Honours Forfeitures Committee.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “There is a debate in the House later on today. There will obviously be a decision potentially made at some stage by the Forfeitures Committee.
“But that is an independent committee, the Government has no role in that at all.”