Mike Ashley outside the Sports Direct headquarters in Shirebrook, Derbyshire [Image: Joe Giddens/PA].

Mike Ashley outside the Sports Direct headquarters in Shirebrook, Derbyshire [Image: Joe Giddens/PA].

It’s interesting that it took the threat of sanctions to drag Mike Ashley out of his headquarters at Shirebrook, in Derbyshire.

He has, of course, invited members of the BIS committee to meet him at Shirebrook, but a private meeting would contravene MPs’ commitment to transparency.

The committee wanted to ask him about his company’s treatment of staff, enforcement of the minimum wage and his internal review of Sports Direct’s practices. The concern is that employees are effectively earning less than the minimum wage due to Sports Direct’s practices.

Given Mr Ashley’s repeated claims that he has nothing to hide, it will be fascinating to hear what he has to say, now that he is finally coming out to give an account of himself and his business.

Mike Ashley will go before MPs to “defend the good name” of Sports Direct on Tuesday in a change of plan just days after he said he would defy a parliamentary summons.

The billionaire founder of the retail chain has written to the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) committee to say that he had a change of heart after careful consideration over the weekend.

On Friday MPs said they would discuss applying sanctions, which have not been brought to bear for decades, after Ashley said he could not make a long-planned meeting because his lawyer, Richard Gordon QC, was unavailable.

Source: Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley agrees to appear in front of MPs | Business | The Guardian

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