Sports Direct Media Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley to go before MPs to mount Sports Direct defence


By John Glenday, Reporter

June 6, 2016 | 2 min read

Billionaire Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is to go before MPs to mount a personal defence of the ‘good name’ of his business following criticism of its working conditions.

Ashley’s presence marks a U-turn from a decision in March to snub the Business Innovation and Skills committee after initially claiming he did not wish to be party to a "media circus."

This followed a number of stories pertaining to a giant Sports Direct distribution centre at Shirebrook in which ambulances were called out on no less than 76 occasions to treat staff hit by ‘life threatening’ illnesses.

Outlining his change of heart Ashley said: “After much reflection over the last 48 hours, I have concluded that a lengthy legal battle would be of no benefit to either of us.

"It would no doubt lead to further unwarranted accusations that I am being secretive, whereas in fact I have been open and honest at every stage of this process.”

Sports Direct has come under fire over its use of zero-hours contracts, prompting accusations from some MPs that Ashley was running scared and had "something to hide" together with threats of sending a uniformed Serjeant at Arms to escort the businessman into the debating room.

Sports Direct Media Mike Ashley

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