Former head of high-street chain Marks & Spencer, Luc Vandevelde, has been charged €3,750 by a Paris court for violating labour law when M&S quit France in 2001.

Vandevelde failed to hold an official meeting of the company's works committee before he announced the store closures four years ago, allowing employees to be notified by email.

Vandevelde's plea that by British law he had to tell the London stock exchange the decision before letting staff know was thrown out by the French court.