Claims that a recording device was found by MPs during a private meeting following an unannounced visit to Sports Direct’s controversial warehouse in Derbyshire are “extraordinary”, Business Secretary Greg Clark has said.
Members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee travelled to Shirebrook to inspect the premises on Monday.
Following a tour, the group of six MPs went to a private room to discuss what they had seen when they said they found an undercover recording device.
The issue was raised at business questions by committee member and Labour MP Peter Kyle, who said: “During the select committee visit to the Shirebrook facility of Sports Direct yesterday, the positive seeds of change that we witnessed in the frontline of workers’ rights and the facility there was compounded by control-freakery and surveillance of the MPs that were on that trip, which completely ruined all of the positive things that have been happening there.
“This actually resulted in the surveillance of a private meeting of MPs.
“Doesn’t the Secretary of State agree with me there is no place for this kind of behaviour in the senior parts of big business in this country and they should be outward-looking and engaging with the community, not surveilling them?”
Mr Clark replied: “I agree with you and I find it extraordinary what was reported this morning especially for a company that has made declarations that it wants to improve its reputation and its image.
“I would merely point out that I think this is not a representative practice and the practices that the select committee have uncovered in the company should not be taken to be representative of the very high standards of behaviour that almost every company in Britain adheres to.”
Sports Direct bosses have insisted they had no knowledge of any undercover recording device.