MP turns fire on to leading chain store

Paula Sherriff MP
Paula Sherriff MP
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The campaigning Dewsbury MP who forced high street chain WH Smith to climb down on its hospital pricing policy has turned her fire on Marks & Spencer.

Speaking in Parliament, Paula Sherriff called for a debate on the practices of big businesses and singled out the FTSE-100 retailer.

The Labour MP said: “Marks & Spencer continues to charge a significant premium on products such as flowers in hospital shops and has failed to follow the requests to remove guilt lanes packed with unhealthy snacks by its tills.

“Now, it has refused to meet me to discuss its appalling treatment of British workers who staff its major UK depot and are kept on insecure contracts. It is exploiting loopholes in EU law to pay new staff less than others who are doing the same work.

In response, Chris Grayling MP said: “I have not looked at those details in Marks & Spencer, but every company today benefits from being a responsible employer and a responsible organisation. The honourable.”

Ms Sherriff said Marks & Spencer came to her attention when she was looking into policies in hospital shops in the summer.

She said she was disappointed with the response from the retailer at their meeting, unlike WH Smith which was more receptive and made concessions on its policies.

After her meeting, she said she became aware of other claims about Marks & Spencer.

She said: “I’m not going for M&S however I think it is important that those brands which trade on British ideals behave and act in a responsible manner.

“If I’m presented with evidence that does not support them, then as an MP I feel I have a duty to look into that.

“It is really important consumers and staff are getting the best deal.”