Mike Ashley made a typically unconventional appearance in parliament on Monday afternoon, at a Communities Select Committee hearing to discuss how to save the British high street.
Monday’s meeting was the result of months of back and forth with MPs who – according to Ashley’s own spokesperson – “originally wanted somebody from House of Fraser to speak for about 15 minutes as part of a panel of four”.
“Mike thought that wouldn’t achieve anything, so instead he demanded to go along in person for a full hour,” they said. What a treat.
Once in front of the committee, it didn’t take long for the billionaire Sports Direct boss to get the bit between his teeth.
In just one hour, he managed to discuss Father Christmas, whether or not he is god, the perils of accounting and – oh yes- the topic he was actually brought there to talk about, the high street…
Let’s start with the Father Christmas denial
In the first of numerous bold yet obvious statements, Ashley pointed out that he isn’t Santa, adding: “I’m actually a very fair guy.”
Weirdly, he’s denied being Father Christmas before (at a select committee meeting in 2016), but what’s with the additional remark? Is he implying Father Christmas isn’t a reasonable man? Maybe, yes.
Now seems like a good time to remind ourselves that Ashley’s monologues always lend themselves well to snarky tweets:
His speech about accountants
Ashley took aim at the entire profession during one particularly animated display.
Making his thoughts on number crunchers known, he declared: “Accountants can make any answer you want them to.
“It’s their job by the way, to…