Tycoon Alan Sugar, famous for his putdown “you’re fired” on the BBC’s “The Apprentice”, said he was considering firing himself from his government job after a backlash at comments he made about struggling small businesses.
Blunt-speaking Sugar was recruited by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in June to take on a business advisory role, specialising in small and medium-sized companies – a sector particularly badly hit by the worst economic downturn in decades. But he provoked controversy last week by dismissing businessmen who complain they cannot get loans to keep their companies afloat as “moaners” he would not lend money to.
“Too much negative stuff is really unhelpful,” Sugar, 62, told the Sunday Times newspaper, admitting that following the row he had second thoughts about his appointment as “enterprise czar”. He said: “I may decide that this is simply not worth it, when you are giving your time free of charge for no agenda.”
Sugar left school at 16 and sold car aerials before going on to create a business empire which made him one of the country’s 100 wealthiest men. Despite his doubts over the government job, he said he was still the best man for the role. “SMEs need people like me,” he said. “I am the man.”
City A.M. Reporter