BUSINESS leaders have condemned the appointment of lingerie entrepreneur Michelle Mone as the UK Government's start-up czar.

Senior figures are questioning why Ms Mone was chosen to lead a review of enterprise in poor areas after selling off most of her own small but loss-making bra firm.

One multi-millionaire has written to David Cameron urging the Tory leader not to make the "divisive" businesswoman a peer for the sake of the "unity of the UK".

Douglas Anderson of major tool and plant hire company the Gap Group told the Prime Minister that Ms Mone was "a small-time businesswoman with PR exposure far in excess of any success". He also cast doubts on her qualifications for the post.

Glasgow-based Gap employs 1300 people with annual revenues of £150 million a year.

Mr Anderson, reacting to reports that Ms Mone would be elevated to the House of Lords, said: "She certainly should not be awarded this title as a reward for supporting you in the No vote.

"This would be highly divisive among the very many successful entrepreneurs in Scotland and will drive them to the Yes camp."

His remarks came as senior Scottish Conservatives expressed private disquiet over Ms Mone, who has adopted a robust unionist persona on social media and in the press, being championed by Mr Cameron and other English colleagues.

A senior Scottish Conservative insider said: "It came as a surprise to me. And I can't see it ending well. A lot of people have grave reservations this will backfire badly."

Ms Mone has courted publicity for a decade and a half as she marketed her Ultimo brand of "chicken fillet" bras.

Her company MJM International suffered heavy losses of £780,000 in its last year, 2013, before passing its assets to its parent company, Ultimo Brands, which also made a loss, and ceasing to trade.

Both businesses only published the abbreviated accounts of a "small company". Ms Mone has sold most of Ultimo Brands to a firm from Sri Lanka but remains a director.

The 43-year-old was unveiled in her new unpaid post by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who said there was "no-one better qualified to help young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds".

In a series of interviews, Ms Mone said she would travel "from Land's End to John O'Groats" to find ways to develop entrepreneurial flair in disadvantaged parts of Britain.

However, Mr Anderson said: “Her businesses have been no more than excessively over promoted PR minnows gaining unjustified acclaim due to the glamorous sector they happen to be in.

"The total number of jobs she has brought to the UK will be minimal.

"There is no way, by any measure, that she is qualified to advise anybody on setting up a profitable business, because quite simply, she hasn't!"

Another extremely successfully Scottish businessman and unionist, who asked not to be named, said: "I am amazed nobody in the Conservatives or the Government looked at her business record. If I was a Tory, I would be raging at this appointment. She has great PR but she isn't a big business success."

Ms Mone this year quit Scotland, citing abuse from so-called cybernats. She had previously threatened to leave the country if the SNP won the 2007 election or if there was a Yes vote in the 2014 independence referendum. Some unionists said they fear her aggressive stance was counter-productive to the cause.

Her spokesman said: “Michelle is delighted that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has, with the backing of the Secretary of State for Business and the Prime Minister of the UK, shown full confidence in her to fulfil this important new role.

"Both they and she believe that she has an immense amount to offer start-up businesses and future entrepreneurs throughout the UK based on her own successful business experience."

The Department of Work and Pensions, asked to explain what Ms Mone had achieved to make her a suitable start-up czar, said: "Michelle Mone’s business success is well documented. She is more than qualified to help young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds to turn a good idea into a flourishing business."