SIR Philip Green would "now be in prison" over the BHS pension scandal if new regulations had been in place when the company collapsed, claims a high-profile MP.

Veteran backbencher Frank Field was speaking in the Commons after Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd announced plans to jail people guilty of "wilful or reckless behaviour" relating to a pension scheme.

Mr Field, the member for Birkenhead, has been a long-time critic of Sir Philip, and has said he wanted to see the rules back-dated so they apply to the BHS fiasco.

On Monday in the Commons he asked Ms Rudd: "Does the Secretary of State expect that, had the regulator had the powers to commit to prison for seven years those who wilfully or recklessly mishandled a pension scheme, that Sir Philip Green would now be in prison?"

Ms Rudd began her reply by thanking Mr Field for the "extraordinary work that he did in this area".

She added: "I'm not going to be drawn, unfortunately, on the individual case he draws attention to, but I believe we will see a different regime going forward."

On Sunday Ms Rudd warned in the Sunday Telegraph those guilty over a pension scheme: "We're coming for you."

As well as making it a criminal offence with jail terms of up to seven years, executives could also face unlimited fines.

She added: "So if you run your company pension into the ground, saddling it with massive, unsustainable debts, we're coming for you.

"If you gamble your employees' futures on risky investments that put a pension scheme at risk, we're coming for you.

"And if you chronically mismanage a pension scheme and it goes under, we're coming for you."

In November 2017 the Pensions Regulator concluded that Sir Philip had sold the BHS business so he could avoid responsibility for its insolvent pension schemes if the high street retailer ever went bust, which it later did, leaving 11,000 people out of work and a £571 million deficit.

After public and political pressure he later agreed to pay £363 million into the BHS schemes.