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.’
While the former Labour peer’s many tirades against Sadiq Khan in the mayoral election will have no doubt gone down well with CCHQ, Mr S suspects they ought to take more care in future when it comes to celebrity appointments.