Primark, one of the UK’s most popular retailers, has announced it will create a fund to help pay the wages of the millions of garment workers affected by its decision to cancel tens of millions of pounds worth of clothing orders from factories in developing countries across the world.

The pledge followed sustained criticism of the fashion retailer after data from the Bangladeshi and Garment Exporters Association (BGMEA) revealed it had cancelled all orders already placed with suppliers.