Mike Ashley is inviting MPs to take part in a live televised debate in order to face staff members who are “deeply traumatised”.
The Sports Direct boss has penned a letter to Iain Wright, the business, energy and industrial strategy committee chairman, calling for himself and other MPs to face his staff members who don’t feel their voice is being heard amid the barrage of negative press surrounding the company.
“I believe the best way forward would be for you to return to Shirebrook to join 500 of the people who work at Sports Direct for a live televised debate in our auditorium,” Ashley wrote, according to The Times.
“This is something that our people have suggested to me would be hugely beneficial to them as they feel their voice is currently not being heard.
“As you will have seen during your visit, our people are extremely loyal and they believe passionately in Sports Direct. Some of these people are feeling scared, defensive and deeply traumatised by the criticism and abuse we have been subjected to over the past two years.”
The letter makes no mention of the retailer’s most recent media frenzy. MPs visited the Ashley’s Shirebrook warehouse unannounced for an inspection, upon entering a room for a private meeting they accused a staff member of bringing a camera into the room amid a tray of sandwiches and attempting to film them covertly.
Ashley strongly denied any knowledge of what was later dubbed “spygate” this and targeted MPs for the veracity of their accusations.
Whether the MPs will attend the televised debate has not yet been confirmed, and it is unknown which staff members will be in attendance to voice their views on the retailer.