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Lee Cooper: Production is 'counterfeit or unauthorised'

LeeCooper declined to be interviewed by Exposure and company executives rejected an offer to view the footage gathered during the investigation.

In a brief statement they said:

“We employ a strict set of rules to ensure our licensees source responsibly and can confirm that this production is either counterfeit or unauthorised.

"We will take all steps to eliminate the unlawful production of Lee Cooper branded products.”

Watch Exposure: Fashion Factories Undercover ITV 10.35pm

Factory conditions 'illegal and morally reprehensible'

Southbay labels from the Vase Apparels factory were matched with shirts purchased from JD Williams outlets, Premier Man and Jacamo, in the UK.

In a statement N Brown Group, which owns JD Williams, told Exposure it was a “…caring, ethical company” which strongly believes anyone making its clothes has the right to a “fair wage and decent, safe working conditions.”

It said the conditions identified at Vase are “illegal and morally reprehensible” and added it was “shocked and disappointed” that some of their shirts had been sourced from the factory.

The company said it would work hard to improve conditions in Bangladesh and will never knowingly buy from factories which don’t meet their “…own high standards and those laid down by the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative).“

N Brown also said it had sacked its supplier Basic Shirts and fined its agent and would donate the money to a Rana Plaza victims’ fund.

Watch Exposure: Fashion Factories Undercover ITV 10.35pm

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Workers 'forced to sign for non-existent safety training'

Workers are being coached by managers to lie to auditors when they inspect a factory and in secret filming evidence was seen that workers said they were forced to sign a register to record that they had completed non-existent safety training.

During one shift at Vase, a factory official asks workers to sign a register to record they had completed certain training courses.

But one worker is told this system is also being abused during undercover filming as the worker who signs has received no training.

Watch Exposure: Fashion Factories Undercover ITV 10.35pm

Clash of parties may undermine Bangladesh election

The impasse between the Bangladesh's two dominant parties may undermine the legitimacy of the country's general and is fueling worries of economic stagnation and further violence in the impoverished South Asian nation of 160 million.

Either Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina or BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia has been prime minister for all but two of the past 22 years and the two are bitter rivals.

Bangladeshi election officials and policemen, in uniform, wait to takes ballot boxes. Credit: AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

"These elections are in no way going to help resolve the stalemate we have seen in the past few months," said Iftekhar Zaman, executive director of global anti-corruption body Transparency International in Bangladesh.

"The parliament which will emerge will be one without an opposition and so there will be a very big legitimacy crisis."Turnout was also likely to be blighted by fears of violence.

More than 120 polling places have been set ablaze since Friday, an election commission official said.

Bangladesh holds parliamentary election

Bangladesh holds its parliamentary election later in a contest boycotted by the main opposition, marred by violence that has killed more than 100 people and shunned by international observers.

A Bangladeshi policeman sits guard inside a truck carrying ballot boxes. Credit: AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

Polls were due to open at 8am (2am GMT) and close at 4pm, although with fewer than half of the 300 parliamentary seats being contested, the ruling Awami League was poised to sweep to victory.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) urged voters to stay away from the "farcical" election.

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Giant fire destroys another garment factory in Dhaka

A huge fire has destroyed another Bangladesh garment factory supplying key Western brands in the Gazipur district of Dhaka, authorities said. There were no initial reports of casualties.

Smoke rises from a fire burning at a Standard Group garment factory in Gazipur Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

As many as 18,000 people worked at the factory, which is among the ten biggest in the country, but all employees had reportedly left by the time the fire broke out in the early hours of this morning.

Head of firefighting operations, Mahbubur Rahman, said he believed the fire had been started by some of the workers.

The head of firefighters said he believed it may have been arson Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

£4.8m from UK to improve Bangladesh work conditions

New UK support of £4.8 million will go towards the International Labour Organisation's ‘Improving the Working Conditions in the Ready Made Garment sector in Bangladesh’ programme to improve fire safety and protect workers.

More than a 1,130 people were killed when Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh Credit: Reuters

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

“April’s factory collapse took a dreadful toll on people in Bangladesh and galvanised much-needed action on safety. Six months on, this UK action will help the Government of Bangladesh, employers and manufacturers make improvements on safety and conditions.

“But there is still a long way to go. Everyone needs to continue to work together to maintain momentum and prevent future tragedies.”

Primark: Rana Plaza victims spread all over Bangladesh

Primark has shown ITV News details of its strategy to track down the 550 workers who were employed by its subcontractor in the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh.

The challenge is made harder by the fact that many of the workers and their dependants have left Dhaka and are spread the "length and breadth of Bangladesh," senior executive Paul Lister said.

Primark's Paul Lister shows Laura Kuenssberg a map showing where the 550 workers are living now Credit: ITV News

Primark, working with the University of Dhaka, has devised a scheme whereby students will travel out to each of the victims in order to assess their level of need.

This data will be entered into touch tablets, which contain software to calculate the level of compensation they can expect.

Primark's Paul Lister demonstrates how one of the touch tablets used to calculate compensation works Credit: ITV News

Luxury retailers 'sell clothes from Bangladesh factories'

High-end retailers are sourcing garments from the same factories in Bangladesh as Primark but are charging a higher price, one of the company's senior executives, told ITV News.

Paul Lister said: "If you look at who is sourcing out of Bangladesh, you'll see that clearly Primark sources out of Bangladesh, but actually next door to Primark in any given factory could be a Bond Street retailer, sourcing exactly the same sort of garment, sourcing a T-shirt.

"So ours at Primark would be £5 on our shelf, it could be £60 for the Bond Street retailer, in the same factory, with the same conditions, the same workforce, the same pay, as the £5 Primark T-shirt."

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