Sports Direct's Mike Ashley wants to follow Theresa May's lead and put staff on the board

Helen Cahill
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Sports Direct Founder Faces Commons Select Committee Over Working Conditions
The cameras are on Mike Ashley again at today's AGM (Source: Getty)

Mike Ashley today told shareholders at Sports Direct's annual general meeting (AGM) that one staff member from the company will be joining the board.

The founder of Sports Direct said he is "absolutely in agreement with Theresa May" that there should be more staff representation at board level.

The move would be a "no-brainer future thing" for the company, Ashley said in a video made by Sports Direct for the AGM.

"I don’t care if that suggestion had come from Ian Wright either," Ashley said. "I am absolutely going to make that happen."

Speaking to assembled investors, chairman Keith Hellawell - who offered to step down over the weekend, but was asked to remain by the company - said that the new board member should be "someone who is not afraid to stand up to a load of suits".

He also urged investors not to support the Unite motion that there should be an independent review of working practices at the firm.

"In terms of the time constraints, [an independent review] was not possible," Hellawell said.

Sports Direct has opened up its AGM to the public today; Ashley took around 150 people around the Shirebrook warehouse to demonstrate the size and scale of the company's operation.

There were tense scenes in the meeting itself, as Ashley - known for being a straight talker - ranted at Unite representatives in front of investors.