Last Saturday Quentin Letts revealed he was being threatened with a libel suit from Alan Sugar. He was apparently very hurt by Letts' description of him as 'stupid' during a broadcast on LBC - this after he admitted on Sky News that he didn't know what taking the Labour whip meant. Letts also alledged that he only got a peerage because he was a TV personality. Most people would have regarded this as an innocent bit of knockabout. Not Sugar, who must have a skin thinner than a 30 second old rice pudding, as well as an ego the size of tent.
You would have thought those that dish it out ought to be able to learn to take it. Not in Sugar's case, poor lamb. He can be as rude as he likes to the contestants on The Apprentice, yet objects to it when he gets a bit roughed up by someone else. C'est politics, c'est la guerre.
It's also interesting that Sugar has gone for the easy option threatening Letts personally rather than the Daily Mail or LBC. It shows he knows he has a weak case.
If Sugar is allowed to get away with this and Letts feels forced to cave in, there are dire consequences, not least for those of us who habitually try to call politicians to account - for that's what Sugar now it, a politician.
Matthew Parris outlines the position perfectly in his column today.
One question though: who is paying Sugar's legal bills? Is he forking out Herbert Smith's fees himself or has he persuaded the Department of Business to pay? After all, Speaker Martin got the taxpayer to fund his Carter-Ruck bills, didn't he?