The Conservatives have called on Sir Alan Sugar to resign from the Apprentice, saying his new role as a government-advising enterprise tsar conflicts with the BBC’s need to be politically neutral.
Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is trying to push the incredibly dubious line Sir Alan’s two roles are ‘totally incompatible with the BBC’s rules on political independence and impartiality’. Mr Hunt has written to the Beeb to complain.
What an utter load of bollocks this all is. How on earth does it jeopardise the BBC’s neutrality? Sugar doesn’t work for the Beeb, he’s certainly not an executive there, and we’d be very surprised if he had any say at all in how it was run simply because he happens to appear on a popular TV programme.
What next? Purge Eastenders of any actors who have ever cast a vote? Give CBeebies presenters the waterboard treatment until they reveal their true party alliances?
Please. This is such a cheap shot. The Apprentice is not and never has been a political programme (unless you count competitor friendships and boardroom squabbles - hardly on a par with the looming possibility of a British prime minister being forced to stand down though, are they, or as culturally significant as the speaker of the House of Commons resigning for the first time in more than 300 years).
Besides which, Sir Alan has assured the public his unpaid position as a government advisor will take a ‘politically neutral’ stance. And even if it didn’t, how on earth he’d manage to weave any Labour Party interests into a business competition would take a mind so adept at subliminal messaging it would be more suited to Derren Brown than Gordon Brown.
The Tories are doing well enough as it is at the moment. Whoever let this errant minister make such a silly statement so publicly really needs to reassess their strategic aims and managerial judgement.