OPINION: Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people

Name: Matthew Taylor Job: Director, Institute of Public Policy Research Style: Labour apparatchik turned think-tanker who says:

'Politics is my lifeblood. I could politically analyse a cookery programme. 'Colleagues say he is 'inspirational' and 'in it because of his convictions'. He is the man behind the IPPR's commission on public-private partnerships, a project dogged by early rumours that it would 'help privatise the NHS'. Mr T branded this typical of the 'stunted nature'of current debate. Fresh headlines this week left him feeling 'betrayed'by the leak of what he says is a much more 'subtle'report, with 'a strong assertion of the need to protect staff 'and 'brave things to say about the government's record'on PPPs. 'We think There is nothing wrong with partnerships in principle;

There is something wrong in practice. 'He is a keen advocate of a four-day week and electoral reform. A Jazz fan, he nearly named a son after John Coltrane.

Background: In 1988-90, he was an early implementer of local government scrutiny as director of a health service monitoring unit set up by the now defunct West Midlands metropolitan council. A Labour councillor and parliamentary candidate in Leamington Spa, he set up Labour's notorious rebuttal operation in 1994. Became Labour's director of policy and central election strategy team member in 1997. Then, after a stint as assistant general secretary, he joined the IPPR in 1998.

Future prospects: When that report finally comes out, expect much hob-nobbing with post-election Downing Street advisers. Tipped as the head of Number 10's policy unit. Will persuade the health secretary to introduce a four-day week for the NHS.