Secret payments were made to key BHS staff – as 11,000 workers were told they risked losing redundancy money if they left early.

The existence of the “ Philip bonuses”, worth an average of £10,000 each, were revealed in an investigation as the former BHS boss launched a foul-mouthed attack on the media.

Of the Daily Mirror’s coverage, Sir Philip Green said: “The last three months has been a load of sh**.”

And of the press in general, he said: “You have all been a***holes.”

BBC Panorama revealed staff at BHS HQ, including merchandise buyers, were promised bonuses to stop them leaving when the chain faced a fight for survival.

The cash was supposedly to keep them in place until a saviour came forward, but it was paid after no one was found.

Labour MP Frank Field , co-chair of a Commons probe into the collapse of BHS, told the Mirror: “I thought it was impossible for the BHS saga to get worse, and yet here is an example of it doing so.

“These payments were being made while those at the bottom were scrambling to get by.”

Mr Field said he would demand a list of all those paid retention bonuses, and how much, from the liquidators of BHS.

Tory MP Richard Fuller, another member of the committee, said: “Just what was the motivation for making these payments? It may have been out of the goodness of his heart.

“If so, what about the loyalty of the majority of the 11,000 workers?”

Sir Philip failed to make any mention of the payments during many hours of questioning by MPs earlier this year.

Arcadia says it kissed goodbye to £216million when the chain was sold last year.

Sir Philip’s office published a letter from BHS chief executive Darren Topp, backing Green’s version.

He said nearly 100 head office staff, who dubbed the cash the “Philip bonus”, left in April, as BHS struggled.

Mr Topp said he and the administrator asked Arcadia for the bonuses.

He wrote: “This money allowed us to retain key people to continue to trade and, should a buyer have been found, the business would have had resources to operate normally very quickly.”

MPs are due to meet as early as next week for a possible vote on whether Sir Philip should lose his knighthood.

A vote in favour would ratchet up already mounting pressure on the Honours Forfeiture Committee to act.

An amendment is due to be tabled to include the vote as part of a wider debate into the BHS collapse.

MPs are being urged to back the move, but the vote on his knighthood is more of a protest, not binding.

The final recommendation lies with the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

Knighthoods are normally taken away after a criminal conviction. But they can also be withdrawn for bringing the honours system into disrepute.

Former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred “The Shred” Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood in 2012 after the near collapse of the banking giant.

Green’s gong was awarded for “services to retail” in 2006. But his reputation has been hammered after selling BHS for £1 last year to investors with no retail experience, led by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell.

It went to the wall just over a year later

Around 22,000 current and former BHS workers risk having pension pots slashed by 10%, and payouts capped.

Sir Philip, photographed relaxing near home in Monaco at the weekend, has promised to “sort” the shortfall, insisting he was trying to tackle it all summer on his luxury £100million yacht.