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MP's increase pressure on Mike Ashley - after reports Sports Direct staff are still being asked to come into work

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley Credit: PA

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah raised the issue during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday after reports Mike Ashley was still asking staff who work at Sports Direct, and his other stores, to still come into work - despite being named as 'non-essential' shops.

The Labour MP said: "The people of Newcastle are desperately trying to do the right thing, although my inbox tells me they are angry, confused, running out of money, isolated and stranded in some cases.

"However, not all businesses are doing the right thing and I am particularly thinking of Mike Ashley forcing workers into empty Sports Direct shops. The Prime Minister said that businesses should stand with their staff. What is his message to those who don't?"

The reply from Boris Johnson was short and to the point - "The advice, the instructions, to the gentleman in question and indeed every business, is to follow what the government has said."

Obey the rules or to expect the consequences

– Boris Johnson

"And that is the best way to look after not just their employees but their businesses as well."

Other MP's are calling for action too - with Business Committee Chair Rachel Reeves MP writing directly to the Sports Direct Boss

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It comes just days after he was ordered to close his stores by politicians despite plans to stay open after the lockdown - and Sports Direct are also being accused of increasing prices of home workout equipment.