Parliament has shot down Sports Direct’s requests to launch an investigation into Iain Wright MP after it accused him of orchestrating a “catastrophic fall in the share price of Sports Direct”.
The sportswear retailer’s chairman Keith Hellawell accused Wright, who led the damning inquiry into its working practices in 2016, of lying to Sports Direct, triggering “a number of physical assaults” on staff wiping tens of millions off its share value, and presiding over a “media circus” which severely damaged its reputation.
He subsequently called on the parliamentary commissioner for standards Kathryn Stone to launch an investigation into the former Labour MP in a letter.
This request was immediately rebuffed by Stone, stating that it was not in her remit to investigate former MPs or complaints relating to parliamentary proceedings.
“We have to respect the decision of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, however the fact remains that Iain Wright misled and lied to Sports Direct,” a Sports Direct spokesperson said.
Hellawell wrote: “On one occasion, the calls included a threat to rape a member of staff, and another caller said that they hoped Sports Direct employees would be diagnosed with cancer.
“Our staff were also subject to a number of physical assaults and verbal abuse in our stores.
“This coincided with a catastrophic fall in the share price of Sports Direct, which depleted tens of millions of pounds from the value of our share bonus pool for eligible staff.”
The parliamentary inquiry saw Sports Direct’s billionaire owner Mike Ashley dragged in front of MPs to answer questions over “Victorian” working practices in its Shirebrook warehouse.
Numerous high-profile PR blunders followed, including a controversial open day at its headquarters – which saw Ashley flash a wad of £50 notes at a mock security check as part of a demonstration amid criticisms of workers being underpaid.