Sugar: Lib Dems ‘the Leyton Orient of politics’

By Peter Wozniak

Alan Sugar has unleashed his own brand of ‘straight-talking’ vitriol at the coalition government, with choice words for the Liberal Democrats and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

In typically uncompromising language, Lord Sugar, interviewed by BBC radio, had little in the way of warm words for the new government – and told of his ‘firing’ as enterprise tsar by David Cameron.

The peer was appointed to that role in the last year of Gordon Brown’s premiership – and has been told by No 10 that his “services are no longer required” according to Lord Sugar’s own account.

Speaking of the BBC’s decision to delay the current series of the Apprentice, Lord Sugar made a stinging assault on Jeremy Hunt, now culture secretary, who pressured for the delay on impartiality grounds given the businessman’s ennoblement by Gordon Brown last year.

“I think this particular Mr Hunt as I understand it has difficulty in filling out expenses forms. This is a minister now who doesn’t understand how to fill out forms. I’d worry about that,” he said.

Lord Sugar was equally contemptuous of the new coalition, calling it “a mess” and arguing it was a mistake to allow the Lib Dems into the prime ministerial debates.

Asked about the third party’s role in government the Apprentice star had a colourful analogy at the ready.

“We’ve got these two people Cable and Clegg who have landed on their feet. They feel like Leyton Orient suddenly been planted in the champions’ league,” he said.

“You got Clegg now, a bloke who used to get three pars in the Observer occasionally, is now out there somewhere hosting the world congress or something. Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.”

Lord Sugar refused to be drawn on the current row over cuts, but nonetheless claimed that the government needed “a lot of sorting out”.

The peer, who takes the Labour whip in the House of Lords, said of his new leader Ed Miliband: “I don’t know him, I’ve never met him. He’s young, he’s enthusiastic, as long as he stays honest, doesn’t just do things for the sake of sensationalism, then he’ll win public support.”