Arise, Lord Sugar

Sugar is due to assume his new role as enterprise champion this week. The new business advisor to Gordon Brown has had to make considerable sacrifices in taking up the post, stepping down as boss of 28 different companies to avoid a "conflict of interest".

The millionaire entrepreneur has also been axed from his advertising campaigns for premium bonds and apprenticeships: Cabinet Office guidelines prevent political figures from taking part in government advertising.

Friend and advisor to Alan Sugar, Claude Littner, will assume all of Sugar’s day-to-day business responsibilities. Littner is one of the interviewers sent to grill would-be winners on the semi final of The Apprentice.But what of the long-running series? Does The Apprentice too count as a conflict of interest? It seems not. The BBC insists that Sugar’s new role will not compromise the show’s objectivity. Likewise, a spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills says: "Sir Alan has discussed his interests with the Cabinet Office, and based on their advice he is confident there are no conflicts of interests."

Related articles Sir Alan as enterprise tsar is a "clumsy, populist move" Who will be Sir Alan Sugar’s Junior Apprentice? The Apprentice’s Raef Bjayou sells his soul for luggage Alan Sugar: “I’m no policy maker”

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