Arise, Sir Pickles: Former DCLG chief to be knighted

 
Emma Haslett
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Pickles was one of the biggest casualties of the cabinet's latest reshuffle (Source: Getty)

Former secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles is to be knighted, 10 Downing Street announced today.

Although the Conservative MP lost his role in the cabinet reshuffle which took place after the election, he is to be honoured for services to local government, the Prime Minister said today. It'll be Sir Pickles from now on.

The former leader of Bradford council, Pickles was elected as the representative for Brentwood and Ongar in May 2010, and was appointed minister for faith in 2014.

In his role at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Pickles was known for his hands-on approach to planning laws.

In September 2013 he took the unusual step of "calling in" a planning application for the £1.2bn Shell Centre on London's South Bank, after concerns were voiced about its impact on the Houses of Parliament, and took an active part in quashing plans for a £160m redevelopment of Smithfield market.

He also presided over heavy cuts to local governments' budgets. His 2011 Localism Act included more elected mayors and referendums, but was heavily criticised by opponents.

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