Should Alan Sugar have been hired?
Was this a sound decision, several analysts wondered, or was it a possible case of Brown seeming to confuse the worlds of politics and show business, hoping perhaps that what works in the studio would work just as well in the real world?
The star of the BBC show “The Apprentice” was to be offered a peerage and would take a role as an adviser on matters affecting small and medium-sized businesses.
But the Conservatives are objecting. They say Sugar should not be working for the government and front a TV show at the same time, particularly when the next series of the Apprentice goes out early in 2010 just a few months before a general election. The appointment, they contend, breaches BBC rules on political independence and impartiality.
Sugar himself insists there is no conflict of interest. ‘It’s very simple – all I am is an adviser, I’m not a policymaker,’ he says. “I have been loyal to Gordon Brown and the Labour Party for quite a while, but I also have my loyalties to the BBC.”
Do you believe Sugar should have been appointed? Or is Gordon Brown perfectly entitled to have who he likes in his government of all the talents, especially someone with such proven business acumen?
“All I can do is advise those that are in charge of making policy from a business point of view … what’s right and what’s wrong,” he told Sky News.