Boris Johnson has appointed the former Tesco boss as an expert supply chain advisor.
Sir David Lewis, the former managing director of the supermarket giant, will assist both the Prime Minister and the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Stephen Barclay on the immediate improvements and necessary long-term changes to UK supply chains for goods, Downing Street said. .
Sir David will hold the post until the end of the year and will work with government officials to quickly resolve acute short-term issues, they added.
He will also co-chair a new supply chain advisory group that will be based at the Cabinet Office.
The announcement comes as data shows that around one in six adults in Britain have been unable to purchase essential food items in the past fortnight.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about 17% of adults reported having not been able to buy such goods because they were not available.
Almost a quarter (23%) said the same for non-essential food items.
In a statement issued on Friday, Downing Street said: “This includes both identifying the causes of current lockdowns and anticipating potential future deadlocks, and advising on resolutions either through direct government action or through industry with government support. “
The Prime Minister added that he was “happy” that Sir David is joining the team that “works to ensure the sustainability of our supply chains across the UK as we recover from the pandemic”.
“There are currently global supply issues that we are working with industry to alleviate and Dave brings a wealth of experience that will help us continue to protect our businesses and supply chains,” said the Prime Minister.
Sir David, who left his post at Tesco in September last year, will take up his new role on Monday.
Issue 10 said companies have faced “a series of challenges” over the past few months “as they recover from the global pandemic which has impacted supply chains in Europe and the world. world”.
“The government moved quickly to introduce a series of measures to relieve pressure on vital supply chains, including streamlining the testing process for heavy truck drivers, creating skills boot camps to train drivers of heavy goods vehicles, as well as by introducing short-term visas for fuel. drivers, truck drivers and poultry workers to alleviate the pressures facing these supply chains, ”they added.
Speaking to Sky News earlier on Friday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said “we are just at the end” of the situation with fuel supply pressures, after weeks of people queuing to refuel at stations.
Mr Shapps said that in “most parts of the country” the problems were over and that London and the South East were the only two areas “where we see persistent problems”.
Sky News understands that as of 9 a.m. on Friday, places in the government ‘green’ category with average fuel stock levels include: Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, East Midlands, Wales and the South West.
The regions of eastern and south-eastern England, as well as London, are in the amber category, with reduced stock levels. No zone is in the red zone.