By the by, Sir Philip is to austerity what his friend Simon Cowell is to self-doubt. For his 50th birthday the retail tycoon invited 200 friends to a three-day toga party in Cyprus, entertained by Tom Jones and Rod Stewart. He also owns a solid gold Monopoly set, a gift from his wife.
Here is the official announcement.
Sir Philip Green, who runs the UK’s largest privately family owned clothing retailer Arcadia Group, has been asked by the Prime Minister to lead an external Efficiency Review into government spending. Sir Philip, who will report to the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, will be supported by a team of officials from the Cabinet Office and the Treasury. The remit is to scrutinise government spending in the last three years to identify inefficiencies and potential savings, and to look at where lessons can be learned for the future. He will then report back before the end of the Spending Review.