SACKED warehouse staff at Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley's USC clothing firm have complained about their treatment to MPs, claiming they got no notice of dismissals.

Labour's Brian Donohoe has called for the Ibrox powerbroker to be brought before the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to explain how the firm's depot in Dundonald, Ayrshire, came to be closed with the loss of 79 permanent staff and 166 agency or contract workers.

Holyrood Business Minister Fergus Ewing has already expressed "extreme concern and disappointment" at the conduct of Mr Ashley's Sports Direct, which owns USC.

Mr Donohoe, the Central Ayrshire MP, has now met with sacked staff, including zero-hour contract workers, after the clothing retailer went into administration before Christmas.

Also present to hear the account of the last days of the business was Glasgow South MP Ian Davidson, chairman of the Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

As USC went into administration it was confirmed that another of Mr Ashley's subsidiaries, Republic, had bought the business from insolvency.

Staff told the MPs they received two letters, one confirming the company was going into administration, and a second almost immediately confirming their dismissal.

They said the follow-up letter advised employees should apply for unpaid wages or redundancy money to the Insolvency Service.

Mr Donohoe, secretary of the Westminster Rangers supporters club, last week used parliamentary privilege to question the credentials of Mr Ashley and asked if the businessman is "a fit and proper person to run the affairs of two top senior football clubs".

He said yesterday: "This gives me enough information to push the Government for a full inquiry into how this man operates.

"In the space of a week some 250 people found themselves out of work and the warehouse cleared of stock.

"The tragedy here is that most of them were either employees on inferior 'open hours' contracts or agency staff who were often texted late at night to be told not to bother coming in the next day.

"No one in authority was told that jobs were at risk. No agencies were asked for advice.

"The bombshell announcement came coincidentally at the end of the company's busiest six weeks of the year. A third of USC's annual turnover is made in that short period," said Mr Donohoe.

"From what the workers told me, the closure plans couldn't have been drawn up overnight. They believe the closure was orchestrated. Twenty minutes after they were given the bad news, a fleet of lorries arrived to empty the warehouse.

"The workers became suspicious when the level of stock wasn't being maintained after Christmas. They asked questions but were told a stocktake was due. They reckon this was simply a ploy to put them off the scent."

Mr Donohoe told the meeting that, in his view, the reported takeover of the failed USC business by another Mike Ashley company demonstrated that there is a clear loophole in existing employment law.

He added: "I have had many years in industrial relations and come across lots of employers who have done the dirty on their workers. But this must rank as the worst example ever.

"Mike Ashley must be brought before the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and put on oath so that we can find out the truth."

Workers at the meeting complained that they were last paid on December 31, wages which were due in respect of November's earnings. Staff claimed no-one received their Christmas pay-packet which would have included a quarterly holiday allowance.

One Glasgow delivery man claimed his final payment on December 19 did not clear and he is still due thousands of pounds.

Mr Ashley's spokesman was unavailable.