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Parliamentary privilege

Govan story

The people we've encountered in setting up Govan have made us smile, and given us plenty of stories. This is among the highlights.

In setting up the business, I'd been invited to a reception at the Houses of Parliament. The badge of the person next to me said "David Pun - Director, Harvey Nichols". Exactly the sort of retailer I really wanted to talk to.

He was the owning family's board representative. We met frequently. I showed him the evolving styles, and he provided useful feedback which I recognised with the occasional lunch.

One day, he said we were off to the Ritz for lunch. I was dressed casually, and needed to be fitted out by the concierge in whatever had been left behind by other hotel guests. Nothing fitted well and I looked a bit like a clown as we joined the table which included former cabinet minsters, senior journalists etc ... I didn't really know why we were there, but also didn't seek to ask. At the end he turned to one of our fellow diners, said thank you and we were off ...

Occasionally I suggested meeting at the store (I wanted to meet the buyers!!!) but he put me off, saying it wasn't convenient.

Once when we were together he was turned away from an event. He invited me to dinner instead, but when the bill came he couldn't find his wallet.

And gradually it hit ... every single time we'd met, either I'd picked up the bill or we'd gone to a hosted reception. I confided in a friend who'd also met him following the Houses of Parliament reception. He too had paid on each occasion.

Online, we found plenty of images of Mr Pun at global fashion events as a director of Harvey Nichols, and mixing with celebrities in London, Germany, the Caribbean ...

But one website suggested that he was something different. And he didn't feature at all on Harvey Nichols' own website.

Over time more posts appeared suggesting that this man had taken us all in ... he was a serial gatecrasher who had a Walter Mitty-like secret life.

He'd done it so well (but of course he had, nobody likes to think we've been taken in easily)! For me, the strangest thing was that the comments about the shoes that he made were actually good and helpful - despite being a fake he talked credibly!

And for the experiences we had and the story to tell, meeting Mr Pun is one of my highlights. And if you're reading this - thank you!

But since then we've been much more careful about the company we keep.



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