You’re furred: Alan Sugar becomes a Lord
Our “trusty and well-beloved Alan Michael Sugar” takes the oath of allegiance to the Queen
Sir Alan Sugar took his seat in the House of Lords this week, as Lord Sugar of Clapton in the Borough of Hackney.
He was named as a member of the Upper House by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month, and will now operate as an “enterprise czar” for the government.
Why Clapton? Lord Sugar, 62, said: “I struck my first business deals on the streets of Clapton as a 12-year-old boy by collecting lemonade bottles for the one penny deposits, and sitting on the main road asking for a penny for the guy.
“So it meant a lot to me to walk into the House of Lords and collect the title, Lord Sugar of Clapton. It was a wonderful day, being surrounded by my family, and I am only sorry that my mum and dad aren’t around to have witnessed it.
“While my ennoblement is a great personal honour, I am looking forward to getting stuck into my new role of helping to promote and advise British business at a time when the country needs it most.”
The ceremony took place on Monday and followed a private lunch for approximately 50 of the BBC Apprentice star’s family and close friends on the House of Lords’ terrace. Lord Sugar, wearing ermine, was led into the chamber by Black Rod.
The new peer affirmed his allegiance to the Queen, supported by business minister Baroness Vadera and Lord Davies of Abersoch.
Lady Vadera was an adviser to Mr Brown at the Treasury and Lord Davies left his role as chairman of the Standard Chartered Bank when he was appointed UK Trade Minister earlier this year. Lord Sugar is expected to be working closely with both peers in his new role.
Lord Levy and Professor Lord Winston were also present.
Lord Sugar’s role is said to be purely advisory but has provoked reaction among the Conservatives, who say that working for both the BBC and the Government at the same time is a conflict of interests. Lord Sugar, 62, insists he is “politically neutral” and his role is simply to help and advise firms during the recession.