New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
25 May 2011updated 12 Oct 2023 10:45am

Lord Wei steps down after less than a year

The “big society” tsar will leave his unpaid advisory role in favour of paid employment at a charity

By Samira Shackle

Lord (Nat) Wei, the so-called “big society” tsar, has left his post after less than a year in order to take up paid work.

Back in February, Wei announced that he was reducing his hours in the unpaid government role so that he could earn a living. That the “big society” tsar felt that working for free was incompatible with “having a life” prompted widespread derision of the policy, which depends in part on people taking up volunteering.

The announcement that Wei is to step down is poorly timed, coming days after David Cameron launched the flagging project for the fourth time.

He will not be replaced; the Downing Street Policy Unit will now take responsibility for the programme. A Cabinet Office spokesman denied that the move marked the scaling back of the project, saying there was no need to find a replacement, as Wei had completed the work of developing the policy.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Wei’s new role with the Community Foundation Network, a charity that promotes “community philanthropy”, is not unrelated. There is, however, a crucial difference: he will be paid.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy