Sir Alan Sugar’s appointment to the Government is the subject of a formal complaint to the BBC made by the Conservatives.
The corporation has said that The Apprentice star’s new role as a Government adviser would ‘not compromise the BBC’s impartiality’, but shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has complained to the BBC’s governing body.
Questions have been raised about whether the 62-year-old entrepreneur’s new Enterprise Tsar role could breach impartiality rules during the General Election campaign.
In a letter to the BBC Trust’s chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, Mr Hunt said: “Rather than set my mind at ease, the justifications for allowing Sir Alan to take up his Government role given by the Director-General actually makes things worse.
“Having therefore now exhausted the complaints procedure with the BBC, I would now like to make a number of official complaints to the BBC Trust about a breach of editorial guidelines.”
In a letter to Mr Hunt, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said Sir Alan would not be expected to be on the Government’s payroll, or claim expenses associated with the post.
He would also not be allowed to be put up for interview on behalf of a Government department or in the place of a Government minister.
“Sir Alan could not… play any direct role in formulating Government policy, or occupy a position which obliged him to promote or endorse Government policy,” he wrote. £