Bassetlaw MP blasts 'years of mis-management' by Wilko owners during Prime Minister's Questions
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Unions have now said there is no chance of the business being saved after a rescue deal collapsed.
Mr Clarke-Smith was speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today, Wednesday.
And he blasted Wilko’s owners, claiming the failed retailer had been ‘mismanaged for years’.
Some respite has come for the Worksop Wilko store after it was named on the list of 71 Poundland owners Pepco Group has announced it is buying.
B&M has also announced it is buying 51 Wilko stores, but has not named which ones they will be.
However, thousands of jobs are still set to be lost as stores across the rest of the UK close, as well as jobs at the Wilko distribution centre and support offices in Worksop.
And Mr Clarke-Smith asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak if he would assure Bassetlaw residents everything would be done to help Wilko staff members into jobs and that the owners would be made to answer for what has happened to the retailer.
Mr Clarke-Smith said: “This week, we were hit by the devastating news all Wilkos stores would be closing, meaning the loss of 12,500 jobs.
“Bassetlaw and Worksop are the home of Wilko’s HQ and distribution centre with 1,500 jobs set to go.
“But Wilko has been mis-managed for years and in the last decade, more than £77 million has been paid out to shareholders and recently, the HQ was sold for £48 million before being leased back.
“Can the Prime Minister reassure my consituents and all those nationally affected by the demise of Wilko, that he and the Government will do everything in their power to help support people into jobs and make sure their redundancies and pensions are protected and will take whatever action is available to us to hold the ownership to account?”
Mr Sunak said: “Some of the topics raised will be commercial matters for the company, but I do know this is a concerning time for workers at Wilko.
“The Business Secretary is keeping close to developments and we have already started supporting those who have been made redundant and we stand ready to support others to the fullest of our abilities.”