Earlier this week it was revealed that Mike Ashley has been warned that he risks being held in contempt of the House of Commons should he fail to appear before the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee by 1 June 2016.
The Newcastle United owner had been given numerous potential dates by the committee but hadn’t even as yet agreed ‘in principle to attend’.
Ashley’s longstanding issues with MPs goes back to before last year’s general election, with MPs wanting Mike Ashley to appear before them to give answers about the appalling way he runs his retail empire.
Last week, the Chair of that Select Committee, Iain Wright MP, sent the following letter to Mike Ashley:
“A number of alternative dates have been offered to you by the Committee Clerk, but as yet you have not accepted any of them, nor agreed in principle to attend.
“As you will be aware, select committees do not normally need to have recourse to our formal powers to summon witnesses in order to secure attendance; refusal to attend without good reason may be considered a contempt of the House.
“Should you fail in your reply to agree to attend on one of the dates offered to you, or a mutually convenient alternative before 1 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.”
Mike Ashley has now finally responded to the Chairman of the Select Committee, Labour MP Iain Wright, and The Times have revealed the letter contained the following:
“I was disgusted to learn that you have adopted a stance that is deliberately antagonistic.
“I believe you are abusing parliamentary procedure in an attempt to create a media circus – which is not in the best interests of any of the people who work at Sports Direct.”
“My invitation to the whole committee to visit Shirebrook remains open to you.
“For the avoidance of doubt, if you wish to ensure transparency, I am happy for all forms of media to also be in attendance at that meeting.”
The arrogance of Mike Ashley is breathtaking, the Newcastle United owner thinks he is quite literally above the law and the elected representatives of this country.
He has been ‘asked’ to appear in front of the Select Committee to answer questions, why should they all trail up to Shirebrook to see him on his home ground?
I think that it goes without saying that he is someone who is used to getting his own way and reacts very badly when challenged, as both Newcastle and Rangers fans know to their cost.
When Mike Ashley acts like this with parliament then it just sums up the challenge Newcastle fans have had when trying to protest about his shocking running of our football club.
When the issue of Mike Ashley was brought up in the House of Commons this week, Gateshead MP and Newcastle United fan Ian Mearns, spoke passionately, saying that when/if they do ever get the Sports Direct retailer before MPs, Ashley should also answer questions about the appalling way he also runs NUFC.
Quite ironic as well how Mike Ashley accuses MPs of manipulating the media, considering the laughable way he has his media sidekick Keith Bishop distorting everything that surrounds Newcastle United.