Sports Direct independent shareholders delivered a blow to boss Mike Ashley by voting against chairman Keith Hellawell's reappointment.

The company has been under fire over working practices and 53% of independent shareholders voted for Mr Hellawell to go.

But, with majority shareholder Mr Ashley and other investors backing him, Mr Hellawell will remain in his post.

He said he would step down at next year's AGM if he does not receive majority support then.

Mr Hellawell had previously offered to resign following claims of "Victorian" work practices and poor corporate governance at the firm, but this was rejected by the Sports Direct board.

Today, he received the backing of Mr Ashley, who said he and Mr Hellawell should be "given time" to address "shortcomings" at the company.

Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, told ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills: "I think he can do a lot of good for Sports Direct in the next 12 months and, if he is prepared to stay, I would more than welcome all his support, knowledge and efforts in helping us making a difference."

Mr Ashley said he understood the frustrations of investors but still thought he was the right man for the job.

Mr Hellawell said: "I take this clear message from our independent shareholders seriously and I will do my best to address their concerns and earn their confidence over the next year.

"I have confirmed today that should I not receive the support of a majority of our independent shareholders at next year's AGM, I will step down at that time with immediate effect."

On Tuesday, Sport Direct announced it would offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours instead of zero-hours contract and ensure all warehouse staff are paid above the National Minimum Wage following a review into working practices. Despite this, almost 21% of shareholders voted for an independent review of working practices.

Following the AGM, investors and journalists were taken on a tour of the Shirebrook site.

During the tour, Mr Ashley emptied his pockets for a security check, revealing a thick wad of £50 notes.