Executive denies telling Apprentice winner Stella English there was no job for her

 

A senior executive at one of millionaire businessman Lord Sugar's companies denied telling former winner of The Apprentice Stella English that there was no job for her.

Lord Sugar is being sued for constructive dismissal by Ms English, 34, who won series six of the BBC1 show in 2010.

Ms English was given a £100,000 role with Lord Sugar's IT division Viglen as her prize but resigned in May 2011 and complained that her role there was that of an “overpaid lackey”, something her former boss strongly denied.

Viglen chief executive Bordan Tkachuk, who also carries out the high-pressure interviews of the finalists in the closing stages of the television series, told the East London Tribunal Service: “I do not understand why I would say 'there is no job' because obviously there is a potential job for one of the two candidates.

“I did not say there was no role. For the five previous contestants there was a job for them.”

Mr Tkachuk also denied that Lord Sugar made the comment “Nice girl. Don't do a lot” about Ms English when he asked what he thought of her during a meeting between them.

He told the tribunal: “I don't remember him saying that but the inference might have been that.”

He recalled that she was “a nice girl but probably had a lot to learn”.

Mr Tkachuk denied that he had shown “bullying behaviour” towards Ms English, of Whitstable, Kent, or that he did not get on with her saying “I had no problem at all with her.”

He described her as “naive” about how procurement works.

Outstanding invoices for projects which were worth £1.4 million which had been spotted by Ms English were not suspicious, he told the tribunal.

He suggested that she did not understand the business, adding: “There is no need to ring false alarm bells when you do not understand what you are talking about.”

He suggested that it was like “running to a schoolteacher claiming something that is not true.”

Her resignation from Viglen caught him “a bit unawares and it was a bit of a surprise”, he told the tribunal. The reason behind it seemed to be that she did not like working in IT having come from a banking background, he suggested.

He took her to lunch to discuss the situation away from the office as she was “clearly a little bit emotional about it,” he stated.

Mr Tkachuk said: “She explained that she did not feel that the IT industry or the company location was for her. She was not happy with working in the industry - it was a different culture.

“It was an amicable meeting. We got on well. We were there for a couple of hours or so. There was certainly no animosity to myself or the company.”

He said he was surprised because she was in a “potentially well-paid” role in a “learning job” where she could make progress.

Lord Sugar later gave her another role at internet set-top box company YouView after she resigned from Viglen in May 2011.

Ms English claims that Lord Sugar told her he would not be renewing her contract during an unscheduled meeting on September 28, 2011.

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory