Charles Dickens’ inimitable creation Ebenezer Scrooge has been voted the worst fictional boss of all time.

Better news for The Office fans – David Brent, surprisingly, was lauded as the best boss in the poll.

The survey of office workers voted Meryl Streep’s portrayal of New York fashion editor Miranda Priestly, in The Devil Wears Prada, as a close second to Scrooge, with 22 per cent branding her the nastiest fictional boss.

Star Wars’ Darth Vader was only considered the third worst boss, despite torturing and mentally abusing his staff.

David Brent proved very popular, with 77.8 per cent of workers voting him the world’s best fictional boss.

Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at Employment Law Advisory Services which carried out the survey, said: “It is somewhat surprising that Scrooge is considered a worse boss than the psychopathic Darth Vader.

“Obviously, Scrooge’s managerial style could do with a little help, but at least his only crimes were underpaying Bob Cratchit and not turning the heating on in the office.

“David Brent is probably the best of a bad bunch, but I don’t think I would want him to be my manager.

According to the survey of 250 small and medium-sized businesses, 33 per cent of those questioned believed Scrooge was the world’s worst boss.