Lord Sugar attacks 'claim culture' and says he has 'no intention' of paying Apprentice winner Stella English

Lord Sugar said he had spoken about a "new wave of claim culture" in the House of Lords

Lord Sugar has attacked "claim culture" and said he has "no intention" of paying Apprentice winner Stella English any money "unless instructed to do so by the law".

Lord Sugar, who is being sued for constructive dismissal by former employee and Apprentice winner Stella English, said in a statement to the tribunal: "I believe this claim is simply an attempt to extract money from me... something I will not do," he said.

"I have principles which I have spoken about on abuse of law."

He continued saying he had spoken about a "new wave of claim culture" in the House of Lords.

In his witness statement he said he found Stella English, 34 an "untrusting and suspicious person" who was full of "conspiracy theories".

Ms English, from Kent, is claiming constructive dismissal from the job at the tycoon's IT company Viglen in 2010.

Ms English told the tribunal she felt like "an overpaid lackey" in the £100,000 job.

She also said she felt pressurised into taking up a new position at Lord Sugar's internet set-top box company You View.

She told hearing in east London that Lord Sugar then advised her, in an unscheduled meeting on September 28, 2011, that he would not be renewing her contract and that he told her he did not "give a s***".

In his statement Lord Sugar said: "I seriously believe the claimant is deluded that I'm frightened about newspaper articles and that I would not appear at a tribunal as a witness."

He said Ms English was under the impression he would pay her off to avoid having to attend the hearing.

But he told the tribunal: "I have no intention to pay her any money unless told to do so by the law."

He said that within days of Ms English suddenly leaving her job in October 2011, interviews with her appeared in newspapers.

"She was desperate for money," Lord Sugar told the hearing.

That May, after stepping down from Viglen, she told Lord Sugar she planned to write a book and make public appearances, the tribunal heard.

"She was missing the attention that she has previously enjoyed as The Apprentice winner," added Lord Sugar.

In an exchange with Philippa Jackson, representing Ms English at the tribunal, Lord Sugar accused his former employee of lying about her version of events in a bid to generate publicity.

"I'm angry because of this, because it's a total lie," he said, when Ms Jackson suggested he appeared angry.

"When I came into the process of this tribunal, I was going to try to be generous to your client, but I've sat here and listened to her over the past two days and there is no other way to describe what she has said than as blunt lies."

Lord Sugar accused Ms English of "writing headlines" for the newspapers by what she has alleged to the tribunal.

He said the September 2011 meeting was amicable and that he had held similar conversations with previous winners of The Apprentice to discuss their future plans.

There was no full-time job available at You View and she had already made it clear she did not want to work at Viglen, Lord Sugar added.

He told the hearing yesterday that Ms English had "odd conspiracy theories" and that she resigned for good because she felt "her time in the limelight was beginning to fade".

Ms Jackson said the employment relationship her client had after winning the reality TV show was "a sham" and "a PR construct".

Ms English alleges Lord Sugar did not treat her life and future seriously.

She claims that in her first day of working for Lord Sugar, she was told by Viglen chief executive Bordan Tkachuk: "There is no job."

The hearing, listed to last for seven days, continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
people
News
20. Larry Page: Net worth: $23 billion; Country: U.S; Source of wealth: Google
business
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A collection of 30 Banksy prints at Bonhams auction house in London
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Recruitment Genius: PA

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...

Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness