Marks & Spencer has dismissed reports that retail director Anthony Thompson is looking to leave the business.

Reports this week said Thompson, who oversees all store operations including food, had been in talks with headhunters after becoming frustrated at a lack of responsibilities and recognition.

However, a spokeswoman said: "Anthony Thompson remains our retail director and is a much-valued member of the M&S senior team."

Even so, she admitted his departure could not be entirely ruled out. Thompson's career began with M&S in 1984. He also sits on the executive committee, which operates below board level.