Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
4 January 2017, 18:27
...by his former boss!
Charles Crawford, a former ambassador and diplomacy expert, worked with Sir Tim Barrow back in the 1990s.
Crawford gave Iain Dale a full appraisal of Barrow's talents and political past.
"Tim will be fearless in putting the choices to ministers," he promised. "But they have to take the decisions."
It's a fascinating insight into the man reportedly taking over from Sir Ivan Rogers, who quit in controversial fashion this week.
"He's someone who's very practical, who will give ministers a very blunt assessment...he won't pull his punches.
"Having someone with a diplomatic sensibility, quiet advice with how to get on with people...is a good thing really."
Crawford continued: "He's quite business-like...if you have to choose someone for this job, he is probably - given where we are - as good as it gets.
"He's charming, but he's not soft. He's not someone who's going to dither.
"Tim is popular and sensibile - and good!"
Listen back to Charles' full interview here: