Apprentice star and peer Lord Sugar has announced that he is quitting the Labour party.
Lord Sugar said his resignation was accepted as the party had been “aware of my disillusionment for some time”.
He added he had lost confidence in Labour during the last 12 months due to their “negative business policies and the general anti-enterprise concepts” they were proposing should they be elected under Ed Miliband’s leadership.
Lord Sugar said he informed the party of his decision on Friday and kept his intentions quiet during the election campaign rather than use them to “possibly damage” Labour’s election chances.
He was initially appointed a peer by the previous Labour administration in 2009, but launched a scathing attack on the vision outlined during Mr Miliband’s tenure.
In a statement, the Jewish entrepreneur and TV personality said: “In the past year I found myself losing confidence in the party due to their negative business policies and the general anti-enterprise concepts they were considering if they were to be elected.
“I expressed this to the most senior figures in the party several times.”
He continued: “I was originally brought into the party by Gordon Brown during an era where true enterprise was being supported by the party.
“I signed on to New Labour in 1997 but more recently, particularly in relation to business, I sensed a policy shift moving back towards what Old Labour stood for.
“By the start of this year, I had made my decision to resign from the party whatever the outcome of the General Election.
“However, I am a loyal person and rather than use my decision to possibly damage the party’s chances in the election, I decided, as a relatively high-profile individual, to keep my intentions quiet for the duration of the campaign.”
Lord Sugar said he had “opted to remain quiet” and declined hundreds of media requests to talk about proposed policies of the party, particularly in relation to business.
He said: “I have no wish to stick the boot into the party.
“There are many good people in Labour working hard every day to serve the public and I wish them all the best of luck.
“I am grateful for all the experiences being a member of Labour has brought me.”
He added he will continue in the Lords in order to represent the interests of business and enterprise in the UK.
I have resigned today from the Labour party. Full statement here… pic.twitter.com/bzpQsmhVXG
— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) May 11, 2015