Eric Pickles

Eric Pickles

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix =
name = Eric Pickles
honorific-suffix = MP

imagesize = 150px
constituency_MP = Brentwood and Ongar
parliament =
majority = 11,612 (26.3%)
term_start = 9 April 1992
term_end =
predecessor = Robert McCrindle
successor = incumbent
birth_date = Birth date and age|1952|4|20|df=y
birth_place = Keighley, Yorkshire
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = British
party = Conservative Party
spouse = Irene Coates
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =Leeds Polytechnic
occupation =
profession =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Eric Jack Pickles (born 20 April, 1952 in Keighley, Yorkshire) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee Against Racism between 1982 and 1987.

Early life

He went to Greenhead Grammar School (now [ Greenhead High School] ) on "Greenhead Road" in Utley, north Keighley, then Leeds Polytechnic. He was born into a Labour supporting family – his great grandfather was one of the founders of the Independent Labour Party – but he joined the Conservative Party in 1968 after the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia.cite news
title=Bluff diamond
date=2 July 2008
publisher=The Guardian

Pickles soon rose to prominence as the chairman of the local Young Conservatives association and later became chairman of the national organisation. He also had a four year spell as Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee Against Racism.

Local government

Pickles was first elected to Bradford Council in 1979. Between 1988 and 1990, he served leader of the Conservative group on the council. In September 1988 the Conservative Party gained control by using the Conservative mayor's casting vote to become the only inner-city council to be controlled by the Conservatives.

Whilst at Bradford, Pickles introduced several major changes, many of which proved controversial. A book, "The Pickles Papers", was written about this period in Pickles's life.

Parliamentary career

Pickles has been Member of Parliament for Brentwood and Ongar since 1992. He is currently the Shadow Minister for Local Government, having held that post since June 2002. Before that Pickles had served as Shadow Minister for Transport (September 2001–June 2002), and Shadow Minister for London.

Since August 2005, Eric Pickles has also held the post of Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.

At the 2001 general election, the Independent candidate Martin Bell, who had previously won Tatton from Neil Hamilton, stood against him, due to accusations that the Peniel Pentecostal Church had infiltrated the local Conservative branch. Pickles's majority was severely reduced, but he retained his seat by a margin of 2,821 votes (6.5%) becoming elected with only 38% of the votes against Martin Bell's 31.5%.

At the 2005 general election Pickles retained the seat with an increased majority of 11,612 (26.3%), nearly as many as the total votes cast for the second place candidate, and making this the second safest seat in Eastern England, and Pickles the MP with the third-highest share of the vote cast [House of Commons Research Paper 05/33 - The General Election 2005] in this region. Pickles polled a total of 23,609 votes (53.5%).

On July 2 2007 David Cameron appointed Pickles to a reshuffled Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary.

Pickles was the Campaign Manager for the successful Crewe & Nantwich By-Election in May 2008. He is regarded as one of the party's chief campaigners and saw his standing amongst many MP's and members rise after his major contribution to the campaign.

Radio show

Pickles also appears as a radio presenter on local community radio station Phoenix FM together with the Leader of Brentwood Council (and fellow Conservative) Brandon Lewis in a show titled 'The Eric and Brandon Show'. The show is billed as non-party political, and involves the two politicians interviewing local personalities interspersed with music. It is currently broadcast live once a month on 98.0FM and via live webcam on the internet.

Personal life

He married Irene Coates in 1976 in Staincliffe.



* Grogan, Tony, "The Pickles Papers", Bradford, 1989, ISBN 0-948994-04-5

External links

* [ Eric Pickles MP] official site
* [ Background information on the Peniel Church and Martin Bell's involvement]
* [ "The Pickles Papers"] , an account of Pickles's time as Leader of Bradford Council
* [,9290,-4174,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Eric Pickles MP]
* [ They Work for You – Eric Pickles]
* [,_Eric/ Open Directory Project] – Eric Pickles' directory category
* [ BBC Politics page]

News items

* [ Acknowledging the Conservatives' unpopularity in the north east of England]

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