Sports Direct 3

Sports Direct and Newcastle United boss Mike Ashley has been ordered to appear before a committee of MPs, having previously rejected invitations.

Mr Ashley has been ordered to give evidence to the Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) select committee about Sports Direct's treatment of workers.

Ashley has already accused the committee of "abusing Parliamentary procedure in order to create a media circus". But he has been warned that he will be in contempt of Parliament, if he refuses to appear.

In a letter to the Sports Direct boss, committee chairman Iain Wright MP said: "The committee would like to hear about the action that you have taken in response to reports in the media about the treatment of workers at Sports Direct and about the scope, progress and timetable of your own review of working practices that you announced in December.

"The treatment of low paid workers and enforcement of the national minimum wage are issues that the committee will be keeping under review over the coming months."

In December, the sports retailer pledged £10 million to ensure its workers after paid above minimum wage after scrutiny of its security procedures, which took so long workers effectively earned less that the statutory minimum.

Earlier this month, Mr Ashley asked the committee of MPs to visit Sports Direct headquarters in Derbyshire. He said: "By refusing to visit Sports Direct to see things with your own eyes, you are missing out on a genuine opportunity to gain a detailed and balanced understanding of the matters you wish to discuss.

"I believe you are abusing parliamentary procedure in an attempt to create a media circus in Westminster, which is not in the best interests of any of the people who work at Sports Direct."