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Who are the Tsars?

Telll us more about these shadowy advisers

By Ruth Levitt   February 2013

After the shambles of the West Coast rail franchise decision, the government sent for Richard Brown, chairman of Eurostar, to review the process. Earlier in the year, Tom Winsor, lawyer and former rail regulator, had advised ministers on changes to police employment rules, and Mary Portas, retail consultant and TV’s shopping guru, had reported on the future of the high street.

These are what the media call “tsars,” a term imported from American business and politics. They are experts from outside government who are publicly appointed by ministers to advise them on policy. The scale of these appointments has only…

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