Sugar takes his Lords seat

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Indy Politics

Sir Alan Sugar took his seat in the House of Lords today following his appointment last month as Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 'enterprise tsar'.

He was supported in affirming his allegiance to the Queen by business minister Baroness Vadera and Lord Davies of Abersoch.

In front of packed public galleries, Lord Sugar was greeted by a quieter than usual cheer of support when he shook hands with the Lord Speaker Baroness Hayman as he left the chamber following the short ceremony.

The star of the BBC television show The Apprentice, who is famous for his catchphrase "You're fired", has come under pressure following his appointment.

Tories have claimed that he cannot work for the BBC and for the Government, although Lord Sugar has argued his role is advisory and "politically neutral".

Opposition peers were noticeably silent when his introduction was cheered.

When he returned to the Lords 10 minutes after the ceremony of introduction, he took a seat on the Labour backbenches immediately behind Government ministers.

Lord Sugar, as with other new peers, wore ermine for his introduction and was led into the chamber by Black Rod and accompanied by two similarly dressed members of the Lords, who stood by him while the formalities were read out.

His decision to choose two allies of Mr Brown as his supporters is likely to be seized on by opponents of his dual role.

Lady Vadera was an adviser to Mr Brown at the Treasury and Lord Davies left his role as chairman of Standard Chartered when he was appointed to the Government in January.