Here are the very best quotes from Mike Ashley's appearance at the business select committee

Helen Cahill
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Ashley came out with some cracking one-liners

Mike Ashley put in an explosive performance appearing in front of MPs today to defend the working practices at Sports Direct.

The Twittersphere went wild as Ashley not once, but twice, denied that he is Father Christmas.

But what else did Ashley, who only rarely puts in media appearances, say? Here are some of the very best quotes:

On being the boss:

I can't be responsible for everything that goes on at Sports Direct. I can't be.

On giving it his all:

I can only do my best but my best might not be good enough.


On corporate bonding:

I dunno what you call it. Fun day? Corporate day? We call it Sports Direct day.

Then, later:

The value of Sports Direct is its people.


I can't resist it: 100 per cent I wanted to buy BHS.

On ignoring PR people:

I won’t listen to them because I can’t be house trained.

On why he gets up in the morning:

I didn't build Sports Direct, Sports Direct built me.

On whether or not he is Santa:

I'm not Father Christmas, I'm not saying I'll make the world wonderful.

And then, later...

I don't think I'm Santa Claus.

On answering questions from MPs:

I'm one human being! So stop it Paul! Let's keep things positive!

And, sulkily:

It's been positive so far, stop making it negative.

On women in the workplace

What do you call it...sexual...within the office? Harassment!"

... and on ending sexual harassment:

Simple as that fellas. Not just fellas. Girls. Sorry.

... and again - on sexual harassment at Sainsbury's:

Are you sure it's not happening Sainsbury's? I think it probably is.

... finally, on managers creeping on women:

They’re repugnant, they’re disgusting

Other valuable contributions

Mike Ashley was not the only one cracking out some good lines; chair of the committee, Iain Wright, deserves a mention:

On Ashley's "ongoing review process" at Sports Direct: "You sound like a government minister."

On Ashley's tie: "That looks suspiciously like a Newcastle United tie" (silence)