Lord Sugar has resigned from Labour, saying he has become disillusioned with the party due its "negative business policies".
Sugar, who has been associated with Labour for 18 years, said he has been planning to leave the party for a long time but postponed the announcement until after the election so as not to damage the party's chances.
He said he decided at the start of the year to leave the party due to "anti-enterprise concepts" laid out in its manifesto, which Lord Sugar believes moved "back towards what Old Labour stood for".
He will continue to sit in the House of Lords to "represent the interests of business and enterprise".
Lord Sugar's full statement reads:
I informed the party on Friday of my decision to resign which they accepted as they had been aware of my disillusionment for some time.
In the part year I found myself losing confident 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.
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.
In the past few weeks I have declined hundreds of media requests to talk about the proposed policies of the party, particularly in relation to business, and instead opted to remain quiet.
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.
I intend to continue in the House of Lords, representing the interests of business and enterprise in the UK. I will be making no further comment at this time.
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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