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Eric Pickles

Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Photo: PA.

Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets — an example of why elected mayors don’t work?

1 April 2014 18:43

Is Eric Pickles about to send government troops into Tower Hamlets? Last night’s Panorama examined Lutfur Rahman, the borough’s independent directly elected mayor, who is accused (amongst other things) of… Continue reading

149 Comments
Eric Pickles. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

Government flooded with confusion on line to take on floods

10 February 2014 18:33

In the past few days it has become increasingly difficult to tell what the Number 10 strategy is for responding to the floods. As one Tory MP remarked to me… Continue reading

55 Comments
High Tides, Rain And Strong Winds Continue To Hit The UK

Memo to the Environment Agency: humans have needs too

10 February 2014 11:31

It is not surprising that the Environment Agency (EA) have come under attack for the flooding in South West England. What is surprising is how long it took people to catch… Continue reading

18 Comments
Eric Pickles. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

Eric Pickles says no to pub voting

30 January 2014 15:53

The killjoys at the Department for Communities and Local Government have quashed an (admittedly rather hopeful) attempt by Bob Stewart MP to allow politicians to vote from the pub. Colonel… Continue reading

16 Comments
Help To Buy Scheme Launched To Help First Time Buyers

Eric Pickles: Labour’s approach to housing shows how out of touch they are

16 December 2013 16:03

Under the last Labour Government, house building fell to its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s. Labour’s top-down Regional Strategies and eco-towns built nothing but resentment. Advised by Ed Balls… Continue reading

17 Comments
(Image: Getty)

‘Generation Rent’ policy is first victory for Number 10 policy board

1 October 2013 17:29

When the Number 10 policy board was formed, many dismissed it as a sop to angry backbenchers that would have no real power. It lost one of its biggest figures,… Continue reading

27 Comments
How Pickles sees Labour. Image: Getty

Eric Pickles pictures the horrors of a Labour government

1 October 2013 16:11

Eric Pickles has a vivid imagination. He set out to remind the Conservative faithful today the dangers of letting Labour back into office, and why they, not the Tories, are… Continue reading

45 Comments
Eric Pickles. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

Parking-obsessed Pickles stands up to Norman Baker on fines

15 July 2013 14:16

Coalition relations are fairly harmonious at the moment. There is, though, a wee row brewing that embodies the different ways in which the two Coalition parties think about the world.… Continue reading

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Coffee Shots: any pickle with that, minister?

27 June 2013 16:01

Eric Pickles is a very popular figure around Westminster. This picture explains why. It is also 1,000 times funnier than the knackered ‘Eric Pickles is a fat northerner’ jokes that… Continue reading

11 Comments
Eric Pickles. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

If Eric Pickles is cutting the town hall rich list, here are the Tories to talk to

10 May 2013 17:36

Eric Pickles is a driven man on a mission to slash spending and waste in local government. As the latest round of budget cuts just enacted highlights, Pickles has managed… Continue reading

26 Comments
Eric Pickles has argued that the barrier to housebuilding is availability of credit, not the planning system. Picture: Getty

Budget 2013: New ‘Help to Buy’ plan is a boost for Eric Pickles

20 March 2013 16:10

One of the big measures in today’s Budget was the Help to Buy scheme. It answers two demands: the first for the Tories to continue to support home ownership as… Continue reading

24 Comments
Eric Pickles is campaigning in Eastleigh today. Picture: Getty

Eric Pickles in Eastleigh: Lib Dems are holding Tories back

22 February 2013 17:05

All the evidence is pointing to a Lib Dem win in Eastleigh, but those Tories visiting are continuing to fight to the bitter end. Eric Pickles was down there today,… Continue reading

35 Comments
Jake Berry has written to BBC director of news Helen Boaden to complain about the corporation's coverage of council tax benefit cuts. Picture: Getty

Shapps aide delivers next blow in BBC cuts row

31 January 2013 15:07

Eric Pickles has been at war with the BBC over the way it reports council cuts for a while now. But today the battle took on a new front following… Continue reading

107 Comments
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has insisted that the government does 'do God'. Picture: Getty

Eric Pickles ‘does God’, but does the government really agree?

15 January 2013 13:56

Personally, I don’t wear a cross, on the basis that I’m not much of an advertisement for Christianity and I’d risk diminishing the brand. But for Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary,… Continue reading

41 Comments
Eric Pickles on the Sunday Politics yesterday.

Home Office won’t produce estimate of number of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants

14 January 2013 12:43

Eric Pickles says he’s waiting for figures on how many Romanians and Bulgarians are expected to come to the UK when transitional controls on their freedom of movement expire on… Continue reading

77 Comments
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Pickles refuses to disclose government number of Romanians and Bulgarians set to come to UK

13 January 2013 13:59

The Europe debate is raging in the Sunday papers ahead of Cameron’s speech on the matter. There’s mounting concern among Tory Cabinet Ministers that the speech will not go far… Continue reading

81 Comments
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Eric Pickles and the looming Tory split over the ECHR

6 December 2012 18:03

Eric Pickles is one of the few characters in contemporary British politics. In an interview with The Spectator this week, he chides Vince Cable for not deregulating enough, admits that… Continue reading

22 Comments
Muscular localism: Eric Pickles was in a cheery mood when he delivered the announcement on housebuilding in the Commons today. Picture: Getty.

‘Muscular’ Pickles pleases MPs on green belt

6 September 2012 13:45

Eric Pickles delivered his statement on housebuilding with the adoring gaze of new planning minister Nick Boles fixed on him throughout. Boles was leaning forward eagerly, drinking in every word… Continue reading

15 Comments
Eric Pickles Introduces The Tory Party Candidate

CLG vs National Trust, round 2

10 August 2012 14:01

Now that David Cameron has jumped on board the Treasury bandwagon in wanting to revise the National Planning Policy Framework, it’s looking like the Communities and Local Government department is… Continue reading

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Pickles struggles for an answer on growth

13 May 2012 13:56

The government is desperate for economic growth but where can it find it? This was the question posed to Eric Pickles on the Sunday Politics today, but sadly he was… Continue reading

26 Comments
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What would count as a success for Labour?

3 May 2012 11:28

In today’s English council elections, there’s no doubt that Labour will do better than in 2008 — the last time most of these seats were contested. Experts Colin Rallings and… Continue reading

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Vince puts his aggressive hat on

10 March 2012 20:56

Ever since Chris Huhne’s departure from government, Vince Cable has become a more and more aggressive coalition figure. His deliberately provocative interview with The Guardian in which this Keynesian, corporatist… Continue reading

29 Comments

Fox in the clear?

10 October 2011 23:01

Liam Fox demonstrated today why he’ll be staying in Cabinet. He’s a tough, eloquent and effective Commons performer who does not fall to pieces when the going gets tough. George… Continue reading

26 Comments

Osborne, the caring chancellor

3 October 2011 8:54

George Osborne is pursuing the Tesco strategy: every little helps. In his conference speech today, he will announce that he has found £805 million to freeze council tax next year,… Continue reading

10 Comments

Osborne mulling child benefit u-turn

30 September 2011 16:47

Eric Pickles makes no bones that his bin policy is aimed at Middle Britain, and the Tories may soon announce more measures to butter up that vital electoral constituency. The… Continue reading

17 Comments