Sports Direct boss ‘will go before MPs’

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

Mr Ashley has agreed to appear before the business, innovation and skills select committee (BIS) on Tuesday to answer questions on working conditions.

He has been refusing to appear before the committee since March.

Mr Ashley changed his mind last month and said he would answer questions if MPs visited the firm’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire.

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

Sports Direct has been criticised for working conditions at the warehouse, including employing staff on zero-hour contracts.

In a letter to Iain Wright, chairman of the BIS committee, Mr Ashley takes issue with the MP’s suggestion last week that he had “something to hide”. He writes: “I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth.”

Failure to appear in front of MPs meant Mr Ashley risked being found in contempt of Parliament.

In letter, Mr Ashley writes: “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.”

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

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