Fired Apprentice Ghazal Asif has stuck the boot into her female rivals, saying: ‘You don’t have to be a bitch to succeed in business.’

The 23-year-old Glaswegian became the ninth person to leave the BBC One show after being ‘fired’ by Sir Alan Sugar.

The latest task saw the teams compete to design and develop a new trainer brand. Project manager Ghazal was on the losing side with arch-enemies Katie Hopkins and Kristina Grimes. Ghazal branded both women schemers.

And in a swipe at single mother Kristina, she said: “I absolutely think Kristina is more two-faced than Katie. But I feel sorry for her – if I was 35 and still relying on reality TV for a job, I’d be pretty miserable. Poor soul, she’s tried so hard for so long.”

Katie has become the contestant viewers love to hate. In Wednesday’s episode, she takes control of the task and rubbishes everyone else’s ideas, leaving the others wondering if she is deliberately trying to undermine Ghazal and get her fired.

Ghazal said: “I think I was naive about people who were maybe a bit scheming. It is certainly more challenging when you’re trying to lead a team and there’s so much bitching going on. Having watched the show, I’m wondering if I was just part of a game. Was it a plot against me?

“I trusted Katie 110 per cent. During the show I loved her, I thought she had such an energy about her and really enjoyed working with her. She certainly wasn’t saying awful things to people’s faces, but looking back at her comments, I think ‘Flipping hell!’ It’s a shame because Katie is still the most competent female in the house, but she said some vindictive things.

“I don’t know for a fact whether she was scheming against me though, so I wouldn’t want to say bad things about her.”

But she added: “At the end of the day, The Apprentice is entertainment. The people who are the most entertaining will get the most airtime. Then there are people like me who get their heads down and get on with it. It was important for me to be true to myself. I don’t think you have to be a bitch to get on in business.”