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Baron Sugar of Clapton

    Sir Alan Sugar took his seat in the House of Lords this afternoon, becoming Lord Sugar of Clapton in the borough of Hackney.

    Lord Sugar told the JC: “I struck my first business deals on the streets of Clapton as a 12 year-old boy by collecting lemonade bottles for the 1 pence 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 today 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.

    “Whilst 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 followed a private lunch for approximately 50 family members and close friends on the House of Lords' terrace. Lord Sugar, wearing ermine for his introduction, was led into the chamber by Black Rod and was accompanied by two sponsors, already members of the peerage .

    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 Levy and Professor Lord Winston were also present at the ceremony .

    Lord Sugar, star of the BBC 's The Apprentice, was made a member of the Upper Chamber by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month. He will operate as an 'enterprise czar' for the government. His role is said to be purely advisory but has provoked reaction among the Conservatives, who say that working for both the BBC and government at the same time is a conflict of interests. But Lord Sugar, 62, says he is "politically neutral" and his role is simply to help and advise firms during the recession.

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