Mike Ashley: MPs not “properly investigating” Debenhams collapse

Mike Ashley Sports Direct Debenhams administration
Mike Ashley wrote in a letter to MP Rachel Reeves that parliament doesn't seem concerned over Debenhams' failure
// Mike Ashley claims MPs aren’t “interested” in Debenhams’ collapse
// The Sports Direct founder said politicians were only interested in their own PR
// Ashley compared Debenhams with the collapse of Thomas Cook

Mike Ashley has increased his efforts to continue an investigation into Debenhams’ administration.

The Sports Direct tycoon has said that MPs were far more concerned with their own PR rather than delving into corporate misconduct.

Ashley wrote in a letter to MP Rachel Reeves, seen by the Guardian: “No one in parliament seems sufficiently interested about the Debenhams failure.”

READ MORE: Sports Direct appoints new auditor, ending 6-week hunt

Ashley said politicians were only interested in their own PR, while ignoring “cases which are just as bad if not worse”, such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Reeves, the chair of the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, is investigating the failure of travel company Thomas Cook.

Ashley compared Debenhams with the collapse of Thomas Cook.

The travel company’s management was strongly criticised last week by the committee for not accepting responsibility for any wrongdoing.

In the letter, Ashley said he had met Reeves and other members of the committee to discuss concerns about Debenhams, but realised they were not “properly investigating”.

“It is very apparent that a head of steam is developing in the media and in the electorate that they will not tolerate these sorts of situations any longer, where businesses and advisers profit from playing the system at the expense of others,” he added.

A spokesperson from Debenhams said: “It is wrong and irresponsible to compare Debenhams with cases such as Thomas Cook or Carillion.

“Despite the repeated efforts of Sports Direct to destabilise the business, Debenhams continues to trade and employ 25,000 people under supportive new owners who are investing substantial sums to ensure a sustainable future.”

Following Debenhams’ administration in April, Sports Direct’s 30 per cent stake worth £150 million was wiped out.

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