Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 11:23 UK

Brown enters Apprentice CV debate

Apprentice winner Lee McQueen (r) with Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan chose Mr McQueen after a 12 week selection process

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has waded into the debate about sales manager Lee McQueen's victory in the fourth series of The Apprentice.

Mr McQueen was chosen by Sir Alan Sugar in the BBC show despite being caught lying on his CV earlier in the series.

Asked about the result at a No 10 media conference, Mr Brown urged people to support Sir Alan's decision.

But he added: "Generally my advice to people is to tell the truth when they are applying for jobs."

The Apprentice pitches aspiring entrepreneurs to prove themselves in the world of business in the hope of winning a contract to work alongside Sir Alan.

Mr McQueen, 30, beat three other hopefuls to land a 100,000 job in Wednesday evening's final.

'Bang to rights'

Sir Alan, who made his fortune in consumer electronics and property and has advised Mr Brown on business, said Mr McQueen was "a team player" who "always seemed to give his all".

In an earlier episode, Mr McQueen was hauled over the coals for exaggerating the length of time he had spent at university - from four months to two years.

He later told a newspaper: "I'd call it information that was miscommunicated, rather than an outright lie.

"I did make it clear that I hadn't completed the course, but then in the midst of the grilling I was getting, I didn't remember exactly what was on my CV, and I was brought bang to rights.

"It was all cringeworthy and embarrassing, especially given my background in recruitment. It cast a shadow over my integrity, which was a great shame, as one of the things I pride myself on is my integrity."

Brown advice

Asked earlier at No 10 if he would hire someone who had not told been honest on their CV, Mr Brown said: "I think people should tell the truth.

"I think in this case someone exaggerated what they had done.

"Alan Sugar is perfectly able to take all factors into account in making his decision, and I've no doubt that we should support him in the decision that he made.

"But generally my advice to people is to tell the truth when they're applying for jobs, because as was found in this case, it always comes out anyway."

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