Sports Direct's Mike Ashley calls for web tax to save 'dying' high street - business live

UK retail boss calls for new tax on web retailers, and faces criticism over House of Fraser takeover Latest: UK retail magnate Mike Ashley at parliament Ashley: Tax companies who do >20% of business online Ashley: Only God could keep all House of Fraser stores open Video: Mike Ashley on future of retail 6.16pm GMT Britain’s high street might be in better shape if it could sell tickets to watch Mike Ashley in action. It’s not my fault the high street’s dying, is it? It’s not House of Fraser’s fault, it’s not Marks & Spencer’s fault, it’s not Debenham’s fault. It’s very simple why the high street is dying - it’s the internet. The internet is killing the high street. Sports Direct won’t be pleased with me for my suggestion. It’s not necessarily a good fix for Sports Direct , but it’s a fantastic fix for the high street. So Ashley is suggesting a 20% tax on internet businesses, but with some kind of exemption for click and collect sales. The high street won’t make 2030, it won’t get there, unless you do something really radical and grab the bulls by the horns. Mike Ashley: "You have to tax the internet for the good of the high street....tax the web boys 20 per cent." He's already described the high street as "dead, dead, dead...flat-lining...in the bottom of the swimming pool." “Everybody has to come together and look at this. I know it sounds very socialist, I’m not this crazy capitalist that everybody thinks I am.” Mike Ashley's like a cross between Del Boy and David Brent. But he understands retail better than the MPs grilling him - and amid the monologues he's said plenty of interesting things. pic.twitter.com/DgtOBaR3f7 What person could keep 59 stores open - beside God? It’s impossible, it can’t be done. 'I'm not comparing myself to God... I'm not sitting my office stroking a white cat.' More highlights from Mike Ashley's evidence to MPs on the state of high streets: @itvtynetees @itvcalendar pic.twitter.com/uhF2J4hLCi 5.37pm GMT And finally, Mike Ashley hinted that House of Fraser could work closer with Debenhams (in which he owns a stake). He tol MPs: “I told them to work together. They should work together Continue reading...