Lord Sugar: “UK should think UK” when buying

26 October 2010

26 October 2010 | Paul Snell

Lord Sugar has criticised big business and the government for failing to purchase British products and support UK companies.

In a series of posts on Twitteryesterday the peer laid into a perceived lack of support for British suppliers. He said Britain did not have a “culture” of support and that “most people in UK don’t think about buying/supporting British [companies]”.

He argued if large companies and the government awarded contracts to British vendors it would support economic growth. “It's simple if big [companies] and UK [government] buy UK IT equipment then [companies] like Viglen [Sugar’s own computer manufacturer] will employ more people,” he posted. “I wish some of these brain surgeon economist[s] would explain to me the virtues of anti protectionism.”

He said when he raised the issue in the House of Lords “the matter… fell on deaf ears”.

He was particularly critical of government purchasing policy, claiming government offices are “littered” with IT equipment provided by foreign-owned firms. “No one cares that’s [the] problem, no one instils buying or supporting UK [companies] in Whitehall, buyers bombarded by cocktail parties.”

Returning to the topic this morning when the messages were picked up by the media, he repeated his views. “The Telegraph has picked up my buy British campaign today, key decision makers in [government]/big orgs should do same and get the UK backing UK again”.

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