Stella English Alan Sugar
Alan Sugar and Stella English (Twitter)

The Apprentice winner Stella English has lost her constructive dismissal case against Alan Sugar after an east London employment tribunal threw out her claim.

English said that she had quit her job as head of managed services projects at Sugar's IT firm Viglen because she had no real role.

She got the £100,000 job after winning series 6 of The Apprentice but resigned in May 2011. After she left, Sugar offered her a post at another of his companies, YouView.

English said she was treated as an "overpaid lackey" and that she had no contact with Sugar in the role, despite the show suggesting he would be mentoring her.

The employment tribunal ruled the claim "should never have been brought". The head of the tribunal, John Warren, said there was no dismissal case as English had resigned.

The Apprentice
Stella English won series 6 of The Apprentice in 2010 (BBC)

He said there was no evidence that English was given "demeaning work".

"What was clear and what did happen was that the claimant was given a 'real job'. It was a real job with scope for advancement and learning for the claimant," Warren said.

"Lord Sugar should have let the claimant walk away. Lord Sugar did all he could to support the claimant.

"The respondent had gone out of his way to ensure that the claimant was placed in a role from which she could learn new skills, a job which she agreed to and which she enjoyed doing."

Sugar said after the ruling: "I am pleased that the tribunal has returned this verdict and feel vindicated in the judgment that myself, my companies, the BBC, the TV production company and my staff acted properly throughout Ms English's employment.

"There was never a case for us to answer but her need for money and fame meant that the whole system was subjected to this charade.

Alan Sugar
Sugar said English's case was representative of the 'claim culture' in the UK today (Reuters)

"I have been cleared of a derisory attempt to smear my name and extract money from me. The allegations were without substance, and I believe this case was brought with one intention in mind - the presumption that I would not attend the tribunal, that I would not testify and that I would settle out-of-court, sending Ms. English on her way with a tidy settlement.

"I'm afraid she underestimated me and her reputation is now in tatters. I have principles and I am not going to be forced to compromise them, no matter how much time and money they might cost me.

"This case was a sham and a total abuse of a tribunal system, which is there to protect employees who have been mistreated. It is not there to aid those chancing their arm at landing a big payday. I hope that other companies will learn from this example and also fight off derisory claims.

"What has happened here is representative of a new wave of claim culture where some employees file spurious actions regardless of whose reputation it may smear in the process.. This has to be stopped."