NORTH-EAST businessman Duncan Bannatyne has confirmed he is having to make staff redundant due to the cost of his divorce.

In a series of tweets this evening, the Dragons Den star disclosed that his divorce has been finalised - and he appeared to launch an outspoken attack on his ex-wife Joanne McCue and her family.

Mr Bannatyne, 63, who owns a string of health clubs and has his headquarters in Darlington, tweeted: "I just received my Decree Absolute by email, isn't that nice?

Last year, the businessman reassured staff everything was being done to safeguard jobs, despite having to pay out a large divorce settlement.

But, as part of a conversation on Twitter, he said he had "no spare cash & having to make staff redundent (sic) due to cost of divorce."

The tweets appeared to include a series of swipes at his ex-wife, Ms McCue, who he married in 2006.

Mr Bannatyne's press spokesman was not commenting on the tweets. Friends said emotions were clearly raw with the Decree Absolute arriving by email.