The war of words on Twitter began when Lord Sugar’s bitter rival Piers Morgan criticised members of the Government not appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to be interviewed. Mr Morgan was left fuming after Government ministers apparently turned down invitations to explain the UK’s strategy to enter the coronavirus lockdown, accusing Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – who appeared on rival channels – of being “spineless”. The exit strategy had been outlined by Mr Johnson on Sunday evening in a televised address to the nation, but the Prime Minister was accused of being confusing and conveying mixed messages.
The GMB presenter had tweeted: “I understand you’re doing TV interviews tomorrow morning @DominicRaab but refusing to do @GMB I didn’t have you down as spineless.
“Why are our viewers not deemed important enough for vital Govt crisis updates? Are their lives less worthy to you?”
But Lord Sugar, who fronts television show The Apprentice in which he grills budding entrepreneurs, was quick to attack his long-time rival, and replied: “He is not spineless.
“Why would anyone come on @GMB to have you with a script to slag them off unfairly?
“Good decision of his.”
One Twitter user responded by telling Lord Sugar that as he does not live in the UK, “you have no say”, before accusing the Prime minister and his Government of being “incompetent” in their management of the coronavius crisis.
But this infuriated Lord Sugar, who replied: “Why has Boris proven he is incompetent? EXPLAIN.
“You know someone once told me (and it’s true) if you say something for long enough you start to believe it.
“Stop listening to @piersmorgan and @afneil they are all about themselves.”
The reference to Mr Neil then saw the veteran journalist come out fighting, defending his opinions of Mr Johnson and launching his own scathing attack against Lord Sugar.
He tweeted: “Since start of crisis I’ve never opined on Johnson being incompetent or competent.
“Just dealt with facts, a concept to which Wee Shuggie would seem to be a stranger.
“For a man who insists he’s always addressed as ‘Lord Sugar’, to say I’m narcissistic takes irony to new level.”
But Lord Sugar then accused Mr Neil of making people “look stupid” when he interviews them, before warning: “I’m not intimidated by you!”
The Apprentice front man wrote: “I understand it’s hard for you as someone who likes to grille people and generally try to make them look stupid.
“So that when someone like me calls you out for what you are you take offence.
“Now you know what it is like. I am not intimidated by you. It’s all about you.”
Mr Neil quickly hit back and denied these accusations, even going onto mock Lord Sugar’s use of grammar and spelling in his last tweet.
The veteran journalist replied: “No offence taken, ‘Lord’ Shuggie.
“It’s not my show that makes people look stupid. It’s yours. You also like to intimidate your guests.
“I have no interest in intimidation.
“But education important. In that spirit .. it’s ‘grill’. And no need for cap I after what.