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Britain's Brown taps his own Donald Trump to boost dismal ratings

Conservatives snapped up a Labour seat in Norwich North in a Friday by-election. Brown has turned for help to self-made billionaire Alan Sugar, putting him in the House of Lords – and naming him ‘enterprise czar.’

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Alan Sugar is Britain's Donald Trump, a brash entrepreneur who has dispatched five seasons' worth of contestants on the BBC's version of "The Apprentice." The British press has dubbed him a "bully" and the "beast of Brentwood" (where he keeps his home) for his on-screen antics.

But last week, the flamboyant billionaire was given a new sobriquet by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Lord Sugar.

The appointment of the tailor's son with the cockney accent to the House of Lords, the government body once reserved for British nobility, is more than a mark of the growth of meritocracy in British political life. It's part of a desperate effort by Mr. Brown, deeply unpopular at home, to avoid being told "You're fired!" by voters in elections that will be held sometime before next June.

Sugar, a self-made billionaire, is Brown's new "enterprise czar," and his tasks range from cutting red tape to guiding government investment.

Yet opposition politicians were crying foul even before the Jewish boy from London's scruffy East End donned the ermine robes of a lord.


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