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Mike Ashley will be ‘forced’ to attend Parliamentary hearing

Sports Direct and Direct Golf owner Mike Ashley will be formally ordered to appear before by MPs on 7 June and warned that if he does not he could face parliamentary censure.

The Commons Business, Innovation and Skills committee wants to speak to Mr Ashley regarding his treatment of workers. Ashley has been criticised for his use of zero hour contracts – which are not illegal – and the poor working conditions of staff.

A spokesman said: “At its meeting this morning, the Business Committee decided to issue a summon to Mike Ashley to give evidence to it on Tuesday 7 June 2016 at the Palace of Westminster. As indicated in the Chair’s previous letter, should Mr Ashley not agree to appear on 7 June, the Committee reserves the right to take the matter further, including seeking the support of the House of Commons in respect of any complaint of contempt.”

Ashley previously accused MPs of creating a ‘media circus’ and invited them to visit his factories, an offer which was declined.

Speaking in the Commons last week, the shadow leader of the house Chris Bryant said the House could, “force him to attend. He may be the 22nd richest man in Britain but he is running a modern-day sweatshop and this House will get to the truth.”

Direct Golf came under the ownership of Mike Ashley when the business and assets of Direct Golf UK were subsequently sold to an entity controlled by Sports Direct for £299,994 on 19 October after Direct Golf UK and its parent company, Powerhouse Golf, had been put into administration following the discovery of alleged accounting irregularities which meant that the business was insolvent.