Steerpike Steerpike

David Cameron’s new enterprise tsar proves to be a problematic hire

Oh dear. Today at PMQs, George Osborne could not resist boasting about the government’s new enterprise tsar, Sir Alan Sugar. When asked whether he could confirm reports that The Apprentice star would be assisting the government, the Chancellor replied that this was the case — after Sugar had recently told Labour they were ‘fired’.

However, for all their glee at the celebrity appointment, Mr S suspects Cabinet members should refrain from getting too excited. When Andrew Neil asked Matthew Hancock on the Daily Politics why he thought Sugar was such an expert on business, the minister seemed lost for words:

AN: I just wonder why you politicians are so obsessed with him. What’s been his greatest business achievement?

MH: Well, he’s started a long time ago… well, he started in tech in the eighties, he’s been in property

AN: Yeah, how did that go?

MH: But he’s also involved now in meeting all sorts of business people

AN: We all meet all sorts of business people

What’s more, a quick search of Sugar’s name and plenty of embarrassing comments come up for the Tories. In fact, back in 2012 Sugar even suggested it was time for Osborne to be told he was fired:


‘There is an underlying lack of confidence in the current Chancellor. I never rated him in the beginning. I don’t know what his qualifications are to be Chancellor, but we need someone in there who has got a handle on the economics. He’s proving too indecisive.’

Unlock unlimited access, free for a month

then subscribe from as little as £1 a week after that

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in