Alan Sugar: Small business are 'moaners'

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009
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Alan Sugar has faced calls for his resignation as government enterprise 'tsar' over derogatory comments he made at a conference about small businesses, callling them "moaners".

Lord Sugar, who is the star of the BBC's The Apprentice, came under fire from the Federation of Small Businesses Liberal Democrats after the comments, made at a conference in Manchester for small to medium businesses.

He allegedly told the delegates: "I can honestly say a lot of problems you hear from people who are moaning [about the recession] are from companies I wouldn't lend a penny to.

"The moaners are bust. I would look yu right in the eyes and tell you out of 100 complaints, on investigation I would say about 15 had something to moan about."

He added: "You have lived in the unrealistic Disney World in the way banks dished out money."

The chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses John Wright said: "Lord Sugar appears to have let his TV personality from The Apprentice take over and the language he has used to describe this country's small business owners is hardly appropriate. We have to call that he resign from his position."

Lib Dem business spokesman Lord Thurso told London's Evening Standard: "The Prime Minister must not allow Lord Sugar's celebrity to distract him from the desperate message this sends. If he cannot get this, the Prime Minister must tell him: 'You're Fired'."

Commenting on the furore, Lord Sugar said: "People might not always like what I say, But I tell it how I see it."

Last updated: 10:46am, September 28 2010