Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has rejected a request by Scottish MPs to be questioned over the administration of his 28 USC stores.

Ashley’s presence was requested in Scottish parliament as part of an investigation over the treatment of 200 former USC workers at its Ayrshire distribution depot, as well as the use of zero-hours contracts.

But according to The Guardian, Ashley has rebuffed MPs, and said chief executive Dave Forsey would be more appropriate to attend the Scottish Affairs committee.

In addition to the investigation, the ex-USC employees are also taking legal action against Ashley over the loss of their jobs.

The 200 former warehouse staff said they were only given 15 minutes’ notice before losing their jobs when the business went into administration in January. Consultations must be at least 45 days before redundancies when relating to 100 or more employees.

Thompsons Solicitors said workers could receive up to eight weeks’ pay, on top of any redundancy payment owed if they win the case.