Labour MPs are to ask Prime Minister David Cameron to launch a cross-departmental investigation into controversial retailer Sports Direct.

The development follows revelations in The Guardian newspaper about Sports Direct’s alleged employment practices, which were raised in Parliament earlier this week.

On Monday, minister of state at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Nick Boles, was forced to come to Parliament to answer a question about Sports Direct from former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

Subsequently, at a meeting of MPs connected to the Unite trade union it was decided to “go above the likes of Nick Boles”, The Guardian reported.

Gateshead MP Ian Mearns said: “There is enough evidence to say that this needs an urgent response.

“If we write to different arms of the Government separately, they will trade one off against the other.”

He said that the MPs would ask David Cameron for a Government response that included HMRC and the health and safety executive.

The parliamentary pressure follows allegations that Sports Direct is effectively paying thousands of staff below the minimum wage and that some are too frightened to take time off when, for instance, their children are ill.

Sports Direct, where founder Mike Ashley wields great influence, said: “Sports Direct believes it’s in compliance with minimum wage regulations and takes its responsibilities extremely seriously.”

Temporary workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse are mostly hired through agencies, which technically employ them.