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Tsar quality

Should Heathrow have a third runway? How should we fund care for the elderly? These are just two of the tricky issues governments have had to grapple with in recent years. Increasingly ministers turn to someone outside government who - it's reckoned - has the right kind of expertise to find answers to thorny problems: a tsar. Dr Ruth Levitt and her colleagues at Kings College London have been studying tsars and I've been talking to her and three-times tsar Sir Peter North, who recommended changes to laws on driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. First, I asked Ruth Levitt for her definition of tsars.

This discussion was broadcast on Sunday 16th September on BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour.