Police looking into allegations against Sir Philip Green

Hayley Dixon
Philip Green pictured in Monaco on January 29 - Geoff Pugh

Police are "looking into" allegations against Sir Philip Green made by former staff members, it has emerged.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it has received a report detailing allegations of sexual assault, assault and racial abuse made against the Topshop owner.

It comes after an injunction which prevented The Telegraph printing details of claims made against the billionaire which included allegations that he had groped a senior female executive and smacked her on the bottom, held another woman in a headlock and told a black male that his "problem" was that he was "still throwing spears in the jungle".

All of the employers later signed non-disclosure agreements and in one case a woman was paid more than £1million to stay quiet.

In the wake of the revelations Peter Kyle, the Labour MP who sits on the business, energy and industrial strategy committee, wrote to Cressida Dick asking her to look into the claims.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that the Commissioner had received the email and whilst at present no investigation had been launched "it will be looked into and we will go from there".  

Pressure is now mounting on them to launch a full investigation, with senior police officers, campaign groups and MPs saying that the allegations "clearly" cross the criminal threshold.

In the letter to the Met Commissioner, Mr Kyle, MP for Hove, wrote that "it is clear that some of his behaviour warrants criminal investigation", and in his view, if proven, the allegations would amount to sexual assault, assault and racial abuse.

He urged Ms Dick "in the strongest possible terms to investigate these allegations with a view to criminal prosecution" because of the weight of the allegations and the possibility that there are independent witnesses.

He wrote: "Sir Philip Green is accused of monstrous acts which must have inflicted unimaginable fear into his subordinates, particularly women and people belonging to minority groups, who seem to have attracted the most vicious of his alleged attacks."

He said that the "strongest possible message" needed to be sent that law enforcement agencies would investigate allegations of such behaviour.

He added: "When it comes to upholding the law there should be no place to hide, including yachts in the Mediterranean and erroneous use of non-disclosure agreements in British courts."

The letter was sent after it was revealed the Sir Philip was accused of groping a female executive, smacking her bottom, kissing her face, grabbing her by the waist and calling her a "naughty girl".

Letter from Peter Kyle MP to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick requesting a criminal investigation into the accusations against Sir Philip Green

The woman's complaint to HR led to accusations of a cover-up at Arcadia as it is understood the testimony of two male executives who corroborated her account was left out of the final report.

Two other women who later signed NDAs complained of similar treatment at the hands of Sir Philip. One of them alleged that he held her in a headlock.

A black male executive was said to have been told by the tycoon that his "problem" was that he was "still throwing spears in the jungle".

The Topshop owner also made comments about his dreadlocks and assumed that he would smoke cannabis, which he believed was related to his race.

The allegations were all witnessed by others within the company, it was said, and it was likely that detectives would want to speak to them if a full investigation was launched by the police.

Sir Philip has always denied any unlawful sexual or racist behaviour.

Mr Kyle said that after hearing the detailed allegations he felt compelled to contact police to protect others in the workplace and those who felt they could not speak because of NDAs.

"If somebody has committed potential criminal acts in a British workplace they need to be investigated, whether they are a retail magnate or a shop floor worker," he told The Telegraph.

"We need to send a message loud and clear that nobody is above the law."