The Conservative Party has said that Sir Alan Sugar must choose between his new role in government and working for the BBC as star of Apprentice.
The BBC News website reports that the Tories say his new role as an “enterprise tsar” is “completely incompatible” with BBC rules.
However Sir Alan has denied he is joining the government, describing the role as “politically neutral”.
Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, he said, “All I want to do is try and help business and enterprise.
“I wouldn’t join the government, I don’t see this as a political thing.”
He also denied that the move was a publicity stunt. “It’s a shame that it looks like that but I’m sure you know that I’m not the type of person to be used,” Sir Alan said.
“I have a passion and commitment to try and help small businesses and enterprise to see if we can get things moving again.
He added that he had made it clear to Prime Minister Gordon Brown that he would “not compromise” his role on The Apprentice.
However Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said, “Presenting a programme for the BBC and working for the government on the same issue is totally incompatible with the BBC’s rules on political independence and impartiality.
“Sir Alan Sugar needs to make a choice between his role in The Apprentice and his role as the government’s business tsar.”