Lord Sugar has denied accusations of homophobia after asking a Twitter user when he planned to “come out”.

The Apprentice star, 66, responded angrily when William Bridges, from Bath, aimed a tweet at him which read: “@Lord_Sugar you are thick as shit.”

Lord Sugar responded by referring to Mr Bridges’ Twitter profile picture, in which he is pictured alongside a male friend.

The Amstrad tycoon tweeted: “Your twitter pic.

“When are you 2 coming out?”

The Mirror reports this prompted other Twitter users to wade in, with Josh Dibble remarking: “@Lord_Sugar @WilliamBridges2 Using sexuality as an insult, am disappointed by The Sugar!”

However, Sugar responded by saying: “Shut up you tw..

“Focus on insult to which I responded.”

Another Twitter user then asked Lord Sugar: “Sorry, how is [sic] you implying someone is gay as an attempt to insult them not homophobic?”

The Labour peer replied: “You dimwit refer to original insult from sender before you stand high and mighty.”

However, some users supported the TV and business star, with one, known as Aggedor of Peladon telling detractors: “Stop trying to make it into something it isn’t.”

To this latter tweet, Lord Sugar simply added one word: “Correct.”

Last week, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson apologised for a photograph that he tweeted showing himself next to a sign that read “gay c*nt.”