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Apprentice winner Stella English from Thamesmead slams Lord Sugar over 'lackey' role
AN APPRENTICE winner from Thamesmead has slammed Lord Sugar for giving her the job of an “overpaid lackey”.
Stella English, who had a tough childhood in the area, beat 15 other wannabe apprentices to win series six of the hit BBC One show in 2010 and land a £100,000-a-year job at Lord Sugar’s Viglen division.
But she told an employment tribunal that when the business mogul told her he would not be renewing her contract supplying IT equipment to academy schools, she was given no choice but to resign.
The former Bexley College pupil is claiming constructive dismissal against Lord Sugar, who attended the hearing at East London Employment Tribunal Service today.
Ms English said she had no real role at Viglen and was not taken seriously by her colleagues, while she did not feel like Lord Sugar's "apprentice" as she said she only saw him five times during her 13-month employment.
She fought back tears as she said she was given no guidance about what she was meant to be doing, and was "ostracised" by her colleagues who told her she had taken over another woman's job which had a salary of £35,000.
Relegated to carrying out basic administrative tasks, she said her employment was a "sham" and the job "became increasingly untenable to continue".
She said she told Lord Sugar: "I have tried so hard for so long and it's not working.
“I'm an overpaid lackey at Viglen."
Lord Sugar then offered Ms English a role in another company which she started in June 2011, but in September that year she was told that he would not be renewing her contract.
She said Lord Sugar told her that he had given her the second role because he did not want to damage the integrity of The Apprentice or the BBC, or to harm his own public image.
Ms English said he added: "But the fact is that I don't give a s**t."