MPs are refusing to allow Mike Ashley to get away with the contempt he is holding parliament in.

Whilst fans of both Newcastle United and Rangers are suffering under his influence, as well as over 90% of his staff on zero hours contracts, Ashley is finding it harder to shake off the tricky subject of accountability and democracy.

So far, Mike Ashley has simply batted back requests by the Scottish affairs committee to get him to appear before them to explain the overwhelming  use of zero hours contracts, plus the200 job losses after the sudden closure of the Ayrshire warehouse of USC, a fashion retailer owned by Sports Direct.

However, now the Scottish affairs committee have pushed the issue further and made public their latest letter to Ashley’s advisers, asking him to elaborate on what the ‘immovable commitments’ are that are preventing him appearing before the parliamentary committee throughout the entire month of March.

The letter reads:

“Please provide, without further delay, the information that the committee has asked for on what immovable commitments Mr Ashley has throughout the entirety of March which are preventing him from appearing before the committee.”

The MPs made public that correspondence with Sports Direct, plus Mike Ashley’s lawyers’ threat of legal action, in relation to the publication of earlier letters in which the Newcastle United owner made his ‘excuses’.

Ashley’s representatives writing:

“We can see no basis on which you were entitled to publish any of that confidential correspondence without [Sports Direct’s] consent. The fact that you have done so is considered likely to amount to a breach of our client’s confidence as a matter of law and we fully reserve all of [Sports Direct’s] legal rights.”

The MPs have said that they are entitled to publish the correspondence because it forms part of the proceedings, which are then covered by parliamentary privilege and therefore have legal immunity.

It is very unusual for business leaders to refuse a request to appear before a select committee. MPs do have power to formally summon those who refuse to give evidence but there was only limited time available ahead of the upcoming election.

If Mike Ashley continues to make his feeble excuses as to why he shouldn’t voluntarily justify how he treats his staff, then fingers crossed that when the new parliament is formed, the new/re-elected MPs don’t let the matter drop.

Amusingly, Mike Ashley has claimed that the MPs have violated his ‘human rights’ under the European Convention, because the letters made public were marked ‘confidential’.

Considering how he treats the fans of Rangers and Newcastle United and especially most of the tens of thousands of workers he employs, he does indeed have cheek for anything.

  • Greggy164

    It will be good to see him being questioned. I hope the MPs slaughter him. He is a bawbag

  • Demented_Man

    Remember Al Capone?  He practically ran Chicago and he thought he was invulnerable.  The authorities got him on the relatively unimportant issue of tax evasion.
    Your day will come, Ashley.

  • PeterRobson

    Hopefully, all the various sponsors like Sky Sports etc will see his (Ashley/Sports Direct) actions as damaging to their image and withhold sponsorship money.

    Every man and his dog knows he sees NUFC as a means to promote his products !!

    Damage his product image and you can hurt the man !!

    If he becomes a pariah, not just in our eyes (the fans) but on a wider scale, he may be forced to change his ways, or even better, sling his hook !!

    All these excuses we make (yeah me too), about our money at the turnstile being only a drop in the ocean are no longer valid !!!

    If you were an investor or sponsor, would you like your product to be displayed against an empty backdrop ?

    Sky Sports wouldn´t like to brodcast matches with a toxic atmosphere either !!

    He should be held to account for bringing the game into disrepute !!!

    Just because there is no longer a singing section, should NOT stop fans from showing their displeasure !!!
    What could the stewards do ?? Throw a large group out of the ground for voicing their displeasure ?

    Tat would have an even bigger impact than just singing !! Every channel would pick up on it straight away and even the local rags would have no choice but to take a side !!

    All it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing !!!

  • LeazesEnder

    Demented_Man Where’s your beard?

  • Greggy164

    PeterRobson  Got to agree. EPL games are broadcast worldwide. It would hurt his brand to see an empty stadium. I still struggle to believe that you let him sit amongst the fans. I wish him and Llambias would come sit beside me at Ibrox

  • Greggy164

    Demented_Man  Ashley will have an army of accountants and lawyers working for him. His finances will be above board and legit. They could be immoral but will be right side of the law