Lord Sugar spices up Jewish Care breakfast

By Jennifer Lipman, May 18, 2012
Lord Sugar

Lord Sugar

FA’s choice of Roy Hodgson as England manager during a wide-ranging Q&A with Jewish Care supporters.

Shocked that Harry Redknapp had been passed over, he said of Hodgson: “The poor fellow, he seems like he’s already doomed. If you take [what is said in] the newspapers, he might as well go home.”

Before an audience of 430 breakfasters at London’s Dorchester Hotel, the entrepreneur also answered questions on Ken Livingstone, The Apprentice and the coalition government.

Noting that his Twitter following was greater than the Daily Mail’s circulation, Lord Sugar said the site had given him “the right of reply.

“It is a great tool. And there’s a bit of fun about slapping [Piers] Morgan down and keeping him in place.”
Twitter had been the natural medium to voice his concerns about Ken Livingstone in the run-up to the London mayoral election.

Although his plea to voters not to support Mr Livingstone had been controversial, there were “times in politics when one does not agree with the general thrust of the party. Livingstone really was a bit of a disaster. He made so many stupid comments, not just about Jews but about other people and I had to speak out. Whether I had any influence or not is another story.”

Referring to Mr Livingstone and new Bradford West MP George Galloway, his view was that it was important to look beyond “a great electioneering story” and consider whether a candidate was “a well-meaning person or it’s just ego and power”.

Lord Sugar joked that if he were David Cameron, he would spend the next few months trying to unravel the coalition. “They are a complete and utter mess. I don’t just say this as a Labour peer, I say this as a member of the British public who would like one government to run things.”

He believed the Liberal Democrats were out of their depth. “They have been put in a position where they feel like they should be seen to be doing something and they’re not capable of doing it.”

As for The Apprentice, one reason he had changed the programme’s format — candidates now compete for him to invest in their business — was that bringing someone with a well-publicised £100,000-a-year salary into the office created “an immediate resentment among the other employees”. Former winners Tim, Lee and Yasmina were singled out for particular praise.

The breakfast — which raised £60,000 for Jewish Care — included a raffle in which the winner of a signed photograph of footballing legend Pele donated it back for immediate auction.

Last updated: 2:47pm, May 18 2012