Boohoo has launched an independent review into its UK supply chain and committed to invest £10m to “eradicate supply chain malpractice” as pressure over modern-day slavery allegations mounts.

In an update to the City this morning, Boohoo said it had been “shocked and appalled by the recent allegations” and would be launching an “immediate independent review of our UK supply chain” led by barrister Alison Levitt QC.

The review will focus on Boohoo supplier compliance with minimum wage regulations, coronavirus social distancing guidelines, working hours, record keeping and right-to-work documentation and contracts.

Boohoo also set out a timeline for the review, with terms of reference to be published by the end of the month. The retailer said it would then update the markets on the review at its half-year results in September and that the full findings of the review could be published in May/June 2021.

The retailer said it would also be “making an initial commitment” to invest £10m to “eradicate supply chain malpractice”, would be accelerating a third-party supply chain review and offered to work with the home secretary and Leicester local authority on “any future investigations to help eliminate any instances of labour malpractice”.

Boohoo said it takes “extremely seriously all allegations of malpractice, poor working conditions and underpayment of workers”, would not “tolerate any incidence of non-compliance with its code of conduct” and would terminate relationships with suppliers that don’t comply.

Group chief executive John Lyttle said: “As a board we are deeply shocked by the recent allegations about the Leicester garment industry. We wish to reiterate how seriously we are taking these matters and we will not hesitate to terminate any relationships where non-compliance with our code of conduct is found.

“Our commitment to an incremental £10m of investment demonstrates our resolve to enforce the highest standards of ethics, compliance and transparency for the benefit of all garment workers. We look forward to regularly updating our stakeholders as we move through this process.”

Despite its apparent contrition, Boohoo’s statement also criticised “some inaccuracies” in the media reporting. It disputed that any of its suppliers were paying staff £3.50 an hour, although confirmed it had terminated contracts with two suppliers.

The statement follows news revealed by Retail Week yesterday that wholesale partners including Asos, Zalando and Next were all pulling Boohoo products in response to the allegations.