The boss of Starbucks in the UK has defended the company’s controversial non-payment of corporation tax saying it has had a “dismal” performance in this country.

His defence comes after it emerged that Starbucks had paid just £8.6m in corporation tax since it started trading in the UK 14 years ago.

In an interview with The Telegraph this morning, Kris Engskov, managing director of Starbucks UK, also added the company had never “been successful” in the UK, but had still paid some £160m in taxes because of national insurance, VAT and business taxes.

Engskov said: “We were investigated in 2010 and found to be compliant. If HMRC wants to take a look again we would welcome that.

“We don’t see paying taxes as a bad thing. We believe strongly in paying our share and although our lack of profits has meant we haven’t paid much corporate tax, we have contributed £160m, in the last three years alone, in terms of national insurance, VAT and business taxes.

“We paid less corporate tax than rivals because we have not been that successful in the UK. And corporate taxes are driven by profitability.”

However, the company is still under fire and yesterday faced calls from MPs for the matter to be investigated further.