Stock Spirits is facing a second fresh attack from its largest shareholder in less than a fortnight over claims the vodka-maker is overpaying its board while dodging questions about its corporate governance.

Western Gate Investments, which holds 9.7pc of the vodka-maker, has accused the company of paying out non-executive salaries more than double that of its peer group and said that the board cancelled a planned investor day in response to a string of questions over its leadership structure.

The activist criticised the company’s decision to beef up its board with a further three directors, and said in its latest public attack that non-executive salaries have been allowed to spiral and by next year will be 60pc above the total pay in 2015.

The board of nine is costing the company £1.36m a year which is 108pc above the median for its peer group.

“By cancelling its investor day, we wonder whether Stock Spirits is trying to avoid answering difficult questions from shareholders about the conduct of the company and its performance,” Western Gate said.

The Stock Spirits board had provisionally earmarked November 16 for an investor day but later decided the event was “unnecessary”, a spokesman for the company said.



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