'Apprentice' star Claude Littner tells nurse to get a second job to make ends meet

Claude Littner has said nurses should get a second job to make up for low pay (Credit: PA)
Claude Littner has advised nurses to get a second job to make up for low pay (PA)

The Apprentice star Claude Littner has defended his comments that nurses struggling on low pay should take part-time jobs if they want to avoid being “demeaned” by visiting a food bank.

The 70-year-old businessman – who acts as an adviser to Lord Sugar on the BBC show and is estimated to be worth £34m – initially caused outrage by advising a nurse to take up a second job between shifts if she is struggling make ends meet.

Littner went on to spark further upset when he called food banks – which many low paid workers rely on to feed their families, especially at this time of year – “demeaning”.

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The former CEO of Tottenham Hotspur football club initiated the debate when he commented: “If a nurse or anyone else need to make ends meet, nothing wrong with extending hours or finding part time work.”

He then replied to a nurse who told him her contract prevented her from working another job as her work “requires adequate rest between shifts (life/death decision making)”.

Littner told her: “If you can't make ends meet, write to HR and see what they propose.”

As he came under fire for his tweets he defended himself, saying he agreed NHS nurses’ salaries in the UK were “too low”, and revealed his own niece works as a nurse and also runs a side venture on the internet.

Littner said: “I agree nurses should be paid more! But in the absence of that, I was being pragmatic and proposing alternatives to make ends meet.”

He added: “My niece is a nurse and sells on the internet as a way of supplementing her income.”

Littnet then claimed it was less “demeaning” for public sector workers to serve fries than visit a food bank, prompting further outrage.

He called the rising number of food banks – which offer free food and sanitary products to those who cannot afford them – “abhorrent”.

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