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Former Wilko chairwoman pushed to apologise to sacked workers

THE former chairwoman of Wilko apologised today to the thousands of people who lost their jobs when the retailer went bust.

Speaking to MPs on the business and trade committee, Lisa Wilkinson also that said former prime minister Liz Truss’s mini-budget was one of the reasons behind the company’s collapse in August this year.

“I am devastated that we have let each and every one of those people down with the insolvency of Wilko,” she said.

Pushed by committee chairman Liam Byrne to apologise directly, Ms Wilkinson said: “You can have the word sorry, of course I am sorry. I am sorry that we are not there supporting these people any more.”

More than 12,000 people lost their jobs when the 93-year-old chain went into administration.

The committee also heard evidence from the GMB union that Wilko had told it of a “challenging trading position” as early as 2010.

GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said the company tried to change its business model by moving away from discount retail to an “almost John Lewis-type model.”

She told MPs: “The reality is that 12,000 hard-working people lost their jobs as a result of [a] catalogues of failures.”

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