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Sports Direct Accused Of Hiding Camera Under Tray Of Sandwiches During Private Meeting With MPs

Politicians made surprise visit to Shirebrook factory.

07/11/2016 19:14 | Updated 07 November 2016

An MP has accused under-fire retailer Sports Direct of hiding a camera under a tray of sandwiches to record a private meeting.

The accusation by MP Anna Turley came as six MPs from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee visited the firm’s factory for an on-the-spot inspection.

After the visit, the MPs headed for a private room to discuss their impressions when they said a recording device was found.

The Press Association reported Turley, MP for Redcar, saying:

“At the end of the meeting, we sat down to have a private conversation in a room by ourselves.

“A lady came in with some sandwiches, which was very kind. I saw her take too long to do it, she put it down and I saw her put a recording device on the floor.

“She left the room and I went over to pick up the device and there it was: a camera and a recording device for the conversation that we were having privately.

“I’m very disappointed.”

A spokesman for Sports Direct declined to comment, the news agency said.

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley had previously invited MPs for a tour of the Derbyshire site, but select committee members said they would visit the company at a time of their choosing.

The firm has faced sharp criticism over corporate governance and working practices at Shirebrook after it was revealed that some warehouse staff were paid below the national minimum wage.

Ashley has also come under fire for using zero-hours contracts and presiding over “Victorian” working practices.

As part of their visit, the committee wants to see what improvements Sports Direct has made since Mr Ashley was hauled before them in June.

However, it is understood the billionaire tycoon and owner of Newcastle United football club will not be able to meet them because he is out of the country on business, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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