Mary Portas, C4 show

Portas has said ministers did not publicise her work on the high street

Shops tsar Mary Portas has accused the government of bungling the PR surrounding her efforts to save the high street - and not focusing enough on the progress made.

At the government’s Future High Streets Forum - the first to be chaired by new high streets minister Brandon Lewis - Portas was reportedly highly critical of the Department of Communities and Local Government’s handling of the publicity surrounding her appointment and the work of her Portas Pilots and town teams.

With the second anniversary of the Portas Review coming up in December, the fashion guru-turned-retail saviour told Lewis, who took over from Mark Prisk in last week’s reshuffle, that ministers had not done enough to publicise the work going on in nearly 400 towns.

“Mary had some pretty harsh words to say about the government’s handling of the situation,” one source told The Grocer.

“She feels it has done far too little to talk about the areas where progress is being made. It has to be said that the government has made a pretty dire job of getting its message across on this issue and Mary raised some fair points.”