Labour, you're fired! Lord Sugar announces his resignation from Labour
Apprentice boss Lord Alan Sugar has quit the Labour party.
Peer, Lord Sugar blames their "negative business policies" and anti-enterprise approach as the reasons for his resignation.
The self-made man delivered a fatal evaluation of the party under Ed Miliband's leadership and revealed he had lost confidence in the party over the last year.
Lord Sugar has confirmed that he will continue to serve as an independent cross bench peer.
He was initially appointed a peer by the previous Labour administration in 2009 but signalled he had sensed a policy shift back towards the principles of "Old Labour" under Mr Miliband - particularly in relation to business.
Sugar said he had intended to step down as a Labour peer whatever the outcome of the election but had kept quiet about his plans to avoid harming the party’s chances.
But Lord Sugar has made his decision public just days after Labour suffered its most damaging election defeat in a generation.
In a statement, Lord Sugar said his resignation was accepted as the party had been "aware of my disillusionment for some time".
He said: "In the past year I found myself losing confidence in the party due to their negative business policies and the general anti-enterprise concepts they were considering if they were to be elected.
"I expressed this to the most senior figures in the party several times."
He continued: "By the start of this year, I had made my decision to resign from the party whatever the outcome of the General Election.
"However, I am a loyal person and rather than use my decision to possibly damage the party's chances in the election, I decided, as a relatively high-profile individual, to keep my intentions quiet for the duration of the campaign."
Lord Sugar said he had declined hundreds of media requests to talk about the party's proposed policies, particularly in relation to business.
He said: "I have no wish to stick the boot into the party. There are many good people in Labour working hard every day to serve the public and I wish them all the best of luck."
He added he will continue in the Lords in order to represent the interests of business and enterprise in the UK.
He also made reference to his successful BBC show, telling peers in 2009: "I am the new boy on the block. In your Lordships' House I am certainly the apprentice.''
I have resigned today from the Labour party. Full statement here... pic.twitter.com/bzpQsmhVXG— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) May 11, 2015
Belfast Telegraph Digital