Derby

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley asks MPs to attend Derbyshire HQ

Mike Ashley Image copyright PA
Image caption Sports Direct was founded by billionaire Mike Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United

Sports Direct's Mike Ashley has said he will appear before a government committee as long as MPs first visit his firm's headquarters in Derbyshire.

The Commons business committee has been trying to quiz Mr Ashley about working practices, including the use of zero-hours contracts.

The billionaire has refused to attend the meetings and at one stage said the MPs involved were "a joke".

Mr Ashley has offered to fly the MPs to Derbyshire in his helicopter.

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The businessman, who also owns Newcastle United, had been asked to attend Westminster in June on the back of a BBC investigation into working practices at Sports Direct's warehouse, based in Shirebrook.

Image caption Mr Ashley said he would fly the committee to the Sports Direct base in Shirebrook, Derbyshire

He had been warned he could be in contempt of Parliament if he continued to refuse to appear in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee.

However, in March, he told Sky News: "The current intention is not to go, because [MPs] ought to see it for themselves.

"In my opinion, they're just showboating. In my opinion, they're actually a joke."

The committee plans to discuss Mr Ashley's invitation at its meeting next week.

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