Sports Direct boss 'will go before MPs'


Gambols Direct boss Mike Ashley says he will now go before MPs to safeguard the firm’s “good name”.

It reverses the billionaire’s previous decision not to come up before the business, innovation and skills select committee on Tuesday to plea questions on working conditions.

In a letter, Mr Ashley said he had only rubbished “to avoid a media circus”.

Committee chairman Iain Wright im rted he looked forward to Mr Ashley responding to the “serious allegations”.

Sports Without has been criticised for working conditions at the warehouse, including employing stave on zero-hour contracts.

Mr Ashley had been refusing to appear before the nel since last March, although he changed his mind last month and prognosticated he would answer questions if MPs first visited the firm’s Shirebrook stockroom in Derbyshire.

However, last week he changed his position again, stating he devise not attend because his lawyer Richard Gordon, QC, was unavailable.

Would Mike Ashley pull someones leg been jailed in Big Ben?

In a letter to Mr Wright, Mr Ashley took issue with the MP’s indecent last week that he had “something to hide”. He wrote: “I can assure you that nothing is farther from the truth.”

His media advisor, Keith Bishop, denied that Mr Ashley had reversed his standing.

Analysis: Joe Lynam, business correspondent

So Mike Ashley has blinked start. rliamentarians had called his bluff.

They pretended that they were ready-to-serve for a uniformed Serjeant at Arms to knock on Mr Ashley’s door and haul him (on complete TV) before the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Suddenly billionaire Mr Ashley was set to look kidney the man of the people while the elected officials would look like 17th century thespians. Neither side at ones desire wish that. So he will now “do a Rupert Murdoch” by submitting himself for a grilling with how Sports Direct treats its staff.

Mr Ashley will be keen to dispel some of the dishevels and reports surrounding his Shirebrook distribution facility. He will also be knife-edged to show contrition and that things have changed.

Failure to take the role in front of MPs meant Mr Ashley risked being found in contempt of rliament.

In his thus, Mr Ashley writes: “After much reflection over the last 48 hours, I bear concluded that a lengthy legal battle would be of no benefit to either of us.

“It devise no doubt lead to further unwarranted accusations that I am being sub sigillo, whereas in fact I have been open and honest at every podium of this process.”

‘Genuine and balanced’

Mr Ashley added that he devise now appear “in order to defend the good name of Sports Direct on behalf of all the huge people who work here”.

Mr Wright said he was pleased that Mr Ashley had done agreed to give evidence at the committee hearing.

He looked forward to Mr Ashley “sponsoring our questions, including in response to these allegations”, and telling MPs about the in the works of a review the Sports Direct boss announced following the allegations.

“As a board, we want to get a sense of the genuine and balanced picture at Sports Direct and demonstrate whether there are issues for the wider economy which need at examination, such as the status and rights of agency workers,” Mr Wright answered.

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