Sainsbury has withdrawn its support for Sir Peter Davis’ controversial £2.4m bonus payment.

The 864,000 free shares were due to be handed over to Davis next July, but Sainsbury has now said its remuneration committee can no longer support this.

Sainsbury has said however that it will recommend the remuneration report but it “will not implement these recommendations in relation to Sir Peter Davis.”

The matter has now been referred to lawyers.