Ashley must answer for Rangers crisis, says MP

Newcastle United owner and Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley. Picture: PA
Newcastle United owner and Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley. Picture: PA
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AN MP has threatened to summon Mike Ashley to Parliament over his involvement with cash-strapped Rangers.

Brian Donohoe, the Labour MP for Central Ayrshire, has called for “transparency” in the affairs of Newcastle United owner and Rangers shareholder Ashley - and has signalled he is prepared to use his position on the Commons Scottish afffairs committee, according to the Daily Record.

Raising questions over whether Ashley was a fit and proper person to be involved in Rangers because of his handling of more than 200 redundancies at fashion retailer USC, Donohoe said: “The committee have already called City Link to book and indeed have made an approach to me to see if it would be the same thing to call Ashley to the committee to answer for what he has done to the company that he is responsible for.

Donohoe, secretary of the Westminster Rangers Supporters’ Club, used parliamentary privilege to attack Ashley, suggesting he was an “asset stripper”.

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He said: “What will the cost to the public purse be to support people out of a job without the money owed to them? Given that all the companies involved are owned by Sports Direct, isn’t this simply a scam to let Sports Direct off their financial responsibilities?

“Would we agree with a BBC quote from an asset stripper that the law in these circumstances is a pirate’s charter? I wonder whether or not that description could be applied to Mr Ashley?

“Is Mr Ashley a fit and proper person to be buying shares and giving loans to Rangers and to appoint his men on the board?”

If Ashley was to be summoned to Westminster, the Sports Direct owner would be obliged to attend.

More than 200 USC workers were made redundant in Donohoe’s constituency when a warehouse in Dundonald was put into receivership. USC was acquired by Sports Direct in 2011.