In a letter to Boohoo founders Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, MPs have called out the retailer for falsely claiming no knowledge of the illegal working practices in their Leicester supply chain.

Conservative chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Philip Dunne said in the letter that it was “incredible” for Boohoo to claim it was surprised by the recent allegations of modern slavery in the Leicester factories.

In 2018, Dunne pointed out, then co-chief executive Kane gave evidence to the committee surrounding similar issues in its supply chain, following a Financial Times investigation.

The committee has asked Boohoo to prove what measures it took to keep workers safe during the pandemic and whether it still issues fines for late deliveries.

It also called on Boohoo to recognise trade unions following reports that workers were barred from speaking with representatives from Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union. 

The company said it will respond to the letter “in due course” but denied reports that unions were ever banned from visiting warehouses.

Dunne said: “It is incredible that, over a year since the committee highlighted illegal working practices in its supply chain, Boohoo has publicly denied any knowledge of what has been happening for years.

“It is shameful that it took a pandemic and the ensuing outrage about working practices in their supply chain for Boohoo finally to be taken to task for turning a blind eye.”