- Eric Pickles
name = Eric Pickles
honorific-suffix = MP
imagesize = 150px
constituency_MP = Brentwood and Ongar
majority = 11,612 (26.3%)
9 April 1992
birth_date = Birth date and age|1952|4|20|df=y
nationality = British
party = Conservative Party
spouse = Irene Coates
alma_mater =Leeds Polytechnic
website = www.ericpickles.com
Eric Jack Pickles (born
20 April, 1952in 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.
He went to Greenhead Grammar School (now [http://www.greenheadhigh.co.uk 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 Unioninvaded Czechoslovakia.cite news
2 July 2008
Pickles soon rose to prominence as the chairman of the local
Young Conservativesassociation and later became chairman of the national organisation. He also had a four year spell as Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee Against Racism.
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.
Pickles has been
Member of Parliamentfor 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 Churchhad 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 Cameronappointed Pickles to a reshuffled Shadow Cabinetas 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.
Pickles also appears as a radio presenter on local community radio station
Phoenix FMtogether with the Leader of Brentwood Council (and fellow Conservative) Brandon Lewisin 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.
He married Irene Coates in 1976 in
* Grogan, Tony, "The Pickles Papers", Bradford, 1989, ISBN 0-948994-04-5
* [http://www.ericpickles.com Eric Pickles MP] official site
* [http://www.apologeticsindex.org/p07.html Background information on the Peniel Church and Martin Bell's involvement]
* [http://www.1in12.go-legend.net/publications/library/pickles/pickles.htm "The Pickles Papers"] , an account of Pickles's time as Leader of Bradford Council
* [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/0,9290,-4174,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Eric Pickles MP]
* [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/eric_pickles/brentwood_and_ongar They Work for You – Eric Pickles]
* [http://dmoz.org/Regional/Europe/United_Kingdom/Society_and_Culture/Politics/Parties/Conservative/MPs/Pickles,_Eric/ Open Directory Project] – Eric Pickles' directory category
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/mpdb/html/91.stm BBC Politics page]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6525737.stm Acknowledging the Conservatives' unpopularity in the north east of England]
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