Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley has decided to appear before MPs tomorrow to “defend the good name” of the retailer, days after vowing he would not.

Ashley, who on Friday said he would not appear, has changed his mind over the weekend. He will attend the parliamentary hearing tomorrow (Tuesday June 7).

Ashley has written to the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) committee to say that he had a change of heart after careful consideration over the weekend.

He said: “I have therefore reconsidered my position and I am writing to confirm that I will now be attending parliament on Tuesday in order to defend the good name of Sports Direct on behalf of all of the great people who work here.”

He had said he would not be appearing before MPs because the lawyer he wanted to accompany him was unavailable.

Ashley was formally ordered before MPs in March to attend the hearing next week to discuss working practices at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse. He initially dismissed the inquiry as ‘showboating’ before offering a conditional acceptance to the invitation last month.

However, negotiations over his attendance broke down despite a lengthy correspondence with committee chair and MP Iain Wright after he declined Ashley’s invite to visit the warehouse in question the day before the scheduled hearing.