The newly appointed High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis has lambasted Bill Grimsey’s independent review of the high street, calling much of the report “a load of crap”.

Lewis, who only took on the role last month, told the Standard there were some interesting points in the retail veteran’s report, which was published in September, but added: “Otherwise a lot of it was a load of crap”.

“He made a point about having a 20-year strategy, which is somewhat ironic bearing in mind he talks about how fast-moving the high-street is,” he said.

He also called Grimsey’s review “unrealistic” and instead said he backed the high street report written by retail guru Mary Portas.

The war of words comes as the pair are expected to meet on Friday.

Grimsey hit back at Lewis, telling the newspaper that the minister’s comments were “ignorant” and that he promised a “frank exchange” at their meeting today.