Sir Philip Green has said the occupation of the Fortnum & Mason store earlier this year by protesters encouraged last month’s rioters and looters.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph at the opening of his Topshop store in Chicago, Green said the riots were the culmination of a year of civil disobedience.

He said: “I fully understand the necessity for peaceful protest. But it was allowed to get well out of control. Police have had to do a horrible job over the last year, constrained by these old laws of peaceful protest.”

He continued: “You can’t have people walking around wearing masks. It is not peaceful protest when people are sitting in doorways stopping people from getting into shops or gluing themselves to our shop windows.”

He welcomed what appeared to be a return of “good, old-fashioned policing”.

Green said he wanted a portfolio of around 15 shops in the US.