Morrisons has claimed shareholders blocked plans to increase pay awards for its former boss Marc Bolland who was poached by M&S to take over as its chief executive.

The grocer said it had to ditch plans the increase Bolland’s performance awards last year as it was under pressure from shareholders and governance groups, The Guardian reports.

Yesterday it was revealed that Bolland’s successor Dalton Philips, who started at the supermarket last week, will get a total remuneration package of £6m and plans to increase performance awards have been resurrected.

In a report to Morrisons’s shareholders its new head of the remuneration committee Paul Manduca said: “The committee reconsidered the position and decided it is vital that the company is positioned competitively.”

The report admitted that there was some competitive weakness in its executive pay deals it had identified last spring but to change them would not have been “appropriate” given the wider economic situation.

Months later Bolland had been announced as the new chief executive of M&S with a £15m “golden hello”, which some M&S investors have criticised.