Eric Pickles

A house in the Eastwood area of Rotherham (Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

Rotherham urgently needs a chance to recalibrate its moral compass

4 February 2015 16:25

One would have thought that it was impossible for the Rotherham sex abuse story to become even more depressing. But it has. The Times, which has led the way in… Continue reading

Help yourself to England's green and pleasant land (Photo: Getty)

Good news for travellers (and static travellers). Green Belt land is up for grabs!

22 January 2015 11:57

Excellent news for Britain’s travelling community (and indeed those who aren’t travelling very much at all and are therefore known, officially, as ‘static travellers’). A judge has decreed that the… Continue reading


Chuka his toys out of the pram

19 January 2015 16:03

Uh oh, looks like Chuka Umunna hasn’t been doing his homework. The shadow business secretary walked out of a live television interview on Sky News after he was asked his… Continue reading


Why are the MCB complaining about Pickles’s letter to Mosques?

19 January 2015 13:05

Eric Pickles’s letter to Mosques is pretty anodyne. It is hard to see how it could be objected to. But the Muslim Council of Britain is busy complaining about it. Its… Continue reading


Eric Pickles puts John Prescott’s surplus stationery to good use

25 November 2014 10:37

Since 2010, every government department has tried to highlight the profligate spending of their predecessors in the most imaginative ways possible. In return, Labour have been on the look out… Continue reading


Politicians’ pyjamas: Cameron wears satin, Balls prefers a string vest and Hague, a kaftan

1 October 2014 17:53

Let’s talk pyjamas. Specifically, let’s talk paisley pyjamas. Never mind what poor Mr Newmark had hanging out of his; concentrate on the garment itself. You never think of politicians in… Continue reading

David Cameron with two first-time buyers. Image: Getty

Eric Pickles: The Conservatives are building houses – and bringing power to the people

29 September 2014 16:04

A great country is built on strong communities. And strong communities are built on the shoulders of individuals – ordinary people doing extraordinary things. As Communities Secretary I am privileged… Continue reading

Eric Pickles. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

The theological illiteracy of Eric Pickles

6 September 2014 18:12

It is worrying that Eric Pickles is in charge of religion for this government. I first came across his footprints in Bradford, where in the Eighties he was as much… Continue reading

Will the authorities get to the bottom of what happening in Tower Hamlets back on 22 May?

Tower Hamlets: more allegations of obfuscation and electoral malpractice

30 June 2014 18:45

Will investigators ever get to the bottom of what’s going on in Tower Hamlets? London’s most dubious borough has several ongoing inquiries into the alleged misuse of funds, electoral malpractice… Continue reading

Image: Getty

George Osborne has won over the IMF to austerity. Now can he win over Eric Pickles to planning reform?

6 June 2014 14:56

Fresh from celebrating the Tories’ victory in Newark, George Osborne is continuing a very joyful day by celebrating the International Monetary Fund admitting that it got it wrong on austerity.… Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

(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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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