YBF9 Speaker: Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP

Eric Pickles is the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He is a sound small- government Conservative, determined to break Whitehall’s power over local government and make councils more accountable to their electors. Pickles is noted for his human touch.

The Daily Mail said of him: “If you ever start to worry that Dave’s Conservatives are all soft-cheeked trendy toffs, take a moment to admire the girth, the stout cloth, dammit, even the tie-clip of this briny, plain- speaking, subtle, human politician.”

Eric has held numerous previous ministerial appointments, including Party Vice-Chairman with special responsibility for local government, Shadow Minister for Transport, Shadow Minister for London, Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government, and Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Now, as a member of the Cabinet, he is responsible for making local government more efficient, open and accountable.