You may recall from an earlier post that Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct, has been refusing to attend the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on 7th June.
A Guardian expose earlier in the year claimed ‘gulag’ style working conditions at the Sports Direct warehouse in Derbyshire, and the BIS Committee has requested Ashley’s appearance before them to answer questions on working practices. Ashley had rejected calls to attend, claiming that the committee had ‘no power’ to insist on his attendance. Chairman of the select committee, Iain Wright, took the unusual step of publicly warning Ashley that he risked being in contempt of parliament if he did not attend.
Ashley has now said he will attend, but only if the committee will come to see the warehouse the day before (6th June)…
Useful for Unit 2 Parliament for highlighting the limitations to select committees’ formal powers, but also potentially for indicating their influence (shares in Sports Direct fell over 10% after Ashley refused to attend, and it looks like he may attend after all…)