By Samantha Conti
with contributions from Lorelei Marfil
 on October 20, 2016
Philip Green

LONDON — British members of parliament agreed Thursday that Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green should be stripped of his knighthood, although their decision is not a binding one.

Parliamentarians approved without a vote and supported a nonbinding motion without opposition, as a full vote was not necessary.

A spokesman for Green declined to comment.

The final decision rests with the Honours Forfeiture Committee, a U.K. cabinet office subcommittee that decides on rescinding honors.

Parliamentarians debated the results of an investigation into Green’s failed retailer BHS, which he sold for 1 pound, or $1.50, last year to a twice-bankrupt man with no retail experience.

The report, by the Work and Pensions, and Business, Innovation and Skills Committees, described the BHS debacle as “the unacceptable face of capitalism” and said the lessons learned merited broader consideration of the framework in which companies operate.

The parliamentary investigation found the breaches were ethical rather than criminal. No charges have been filed in relation to the case.

The final report accused Green of skimming off generous dividends and standing by while the pension deficit swelled to 571 million pounds, or $695 million. Some 11,000 jobs were lost and 20,000 pensioners are still waiting to see how much they can collect — and who from.

Green has publicly apologized for the debacle, and said he and his team are continuing to work with the Pensions Regulator to find a solution for the 20,000 BHS pensioners.

Earlier this week, the directors of Taveta Investments, the holding company for Green’s retail businesses, issued the findings of an independent report drawn up by two law experts. The Taveta report called the parliamentary inquiry process “unfair,” and its findings “inaccurate and distorted.”

On Thursday, parliament decided to strip Green of his knighthood following the BHS scandal.

Parliament can only make a recommendation to the prime minister, who would then have to pass the request to the Honours Forfeiture Committee, whose discussions are confidential.

If the committee recommends that an honor be withdrawn, the decision is sent by the prime minister to Queen Elizabeth, who decides if the honor should be forfeited.

According to the U.K. government web site, honors can be taken away from people who have been sentenced to prison for a criminal offence, or struck off by a professional or regulatory body.

Green’s knighthood was an honor granted to him in 2006 by former Prime Minister Tony Blair for services to retail.

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