Stobart Group's boardroom battle has spilled over into the High Court.

On the day the firm released its interim results, the firm was in court for a preliminary hearing of the long-running dispute between it and former chief executive Andrew Tinkler.

Mr Tinkler attempted to oust chairman Iain Ferguson earlier this year and install retail boss Philip Day in his stead in a bid backed by a fund controlled by investor Neil Woodfood and Allan Jenkinson, a former Stobart director.

Mr Ferguson narrowly survived the shareholder vote on his re-election at the the company's contentious annual general meeting, but said he would step down in any case.

Stobart is now suing Mr Tinkler, accusing him of conspiring to harm the company's interests.

It has also made claims about money spent on air travel, and wants a judge to rule that he was lawfully dismissed as an employee earlier this year.

Mr Tinkler, a former cabinet-maker who was chief executive of the business between 2007 and 2017, denies wrongdoing, saying he was removed for no good reason, and has counter-claimed.

The hearing, ahead of a full hearing next month, saw Stobart Group being required to disclose records of phone calls, texts, emails, contracts, Board minutes and other documents.

After the hearing, Mr Tinkler said: "We welcome the judge’s ruling that the company must now disclose the details of chief executive Warwick Brady’s £18m cash bonus scheme, the terms of Ryanair’s Southend contract as well as texts and emails that show how they tried to influence the outcome of the AGM in July. I look forward to the start of the full hearing on November 12."

A spokesman for Mr Tinkler added: “On the day the board says ‘no bullying culture’ a High Court judge has thrown out their effort to have a senior employee named as a ‘conspirator’ against the company."

A spokesman from Stobart Group said: “We have a strong case, and are confident of winning.

"We look forward to the court agreeing with our view on Mr Tinkler’s conduct.”