By Mark Goodwin, Stephen Bates and Steve McKay
In the past two months, two of Britain’s richest men have been forced by Parliament to admit to, and apologise for, serious failings in their business practices that could end up costing them millions in compensation. Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley admitted to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee that, despite being Britain’s 22nd richest person with an estimated fortune of £3.5bn, he had not been paying staff in the company’s main warehouse the minimum wage. A few weeks later, the same committee witnessed what many saw as a bizarre performance from another British billionaire, Sir Philip Green, as his failings in the sale of British Home Stores were exposed in between complaints about excessive staring from the committee members. These are just the latest in a string of high profile inquiries by parliamentary select committees over the past six years that have also seen Rupert Murdoch attacked with a custard pie, Michael Gove alleging a ‘Trot conspiracy’ in English schools and a vice president of Google being informed that “you do evil”.