Lord Sugar 'no intention' of paying out to Apprentice winner

Stella English
Image caption Stella English shook her head as Lord Sugar read out his witness statement

Lord Sugar has "no intention" of paying out to The Apprentice winner Stella English "unless instructed to do so by the law", he has told a tribunal.

Ms English, from Kent, is claiming constructive dismissal from the £100,000-a-year job she won at the tycoon's IT company Viglen in 2010.

"I believe this claim is simply an attempt to extract money from me... something I will not do," he said.

"I have principles which I have spoken about on abuse of law."

Lord Sugar, who finished reading his witness statement to the hearing on Thursday, said he had spoken about a "new wave of claim culture" in the House of Lords.

In the statement, he said he found Ms English, 34, an "untrusting and suspicious person" who was full of "conspiracy theories".

'Scared' of publicity

"I believe this claim, together with its publication in the media, is simply an attempt to extract money from me," he said.

He added that Ms English wrongly believed he was scared of articles about him or The Apprentice appearing in the press.

He said he believed Ms English was under the impression he would pay her off to avoid having to attend the hearing.

He accused Ms English of being a "serial liar" and said that with hindsight, he would have neither hired her nor offered her a second position at another company, YouView.

He said: "But worrying about her welfare - that's what annoys me about this - worrying about her moaning that she's got no money and she's in debt ... that's why I took her to YouView, and it's come back and slapped me in the face."

In September 2011, Ms English's contract at YouView was not renewed.

On Tuesday Ms English told the East London Tribunal Service that she felt like "an overpaid lackey" in the job she won in the TV show.

Lord Sugar said he was surprised when she told him she was not enjoying the role with him.

"I began to think that perhaps the reality of work, rather than the glamour of showbusiness, was beginning to bite with her," he said.

Image caption Ms English got a job in Lord Sugar's IT company Viglen

"Her time in the limelight was beginning to fade."

He said that during the recording of the show Ms English confronted him with the idea that semi-finalist Chris Bates had won the competition because she had not filmed a segment with her leaving his office in a chauffeur-driven car.

"She thought during the whole process that she was being lied to and that the other candidate had been chosen as the winner," he said.

Ms English, from Whitstable, has told the tribunal she had to carry out a four-month probationary period before being named the winner.

She said she had no clear role at Viglen and was given only basic administrative tasks.

On Tuesday, she claimed that on her first day Bordan Tkachuk, the chief executive, told her: "There is no job."

She told the hearing she feared being a "troublemaker" if she complained.

The hearing continues.

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