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Words: Jess Bowie Pictures: Paul Heartfield Industrious MPs frequently find themselves clock-watching, wishing there were more hours in the day. The Member for Harlow, Robert Halfon, is a time-poor clock-watcher too – ... Continue to article
Eric Pickles insisted the Government had not suppressed a report suggesting the impact of immigration on employment was significantly less than ministers had claimed, claiming it was not yet ready to be published. “Well, forgive me - it’... Continue to article
The first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Flooding was chaired today by the Prime Minister David Cameron. The new Committee was set up by the Prime Minister earlier this week to coordinate strategic long-term plans on flood recovery a... Continue to article
It could take weeks for the Environment Agency and others to clear flood water from affected areas of England, Eric Pickles said this afternoon. The Communities Secretary also told MPs there was a "high risk" that the Thames, the Se... Continue to article
Rushanara Ali said Theresa May’s comments blaming the last Labour government for the “out of control” immigration system in her response to the visa fraud revelations exposed by the BBC was another example of the Conservative-led government... Continue to article
Downing Street palyed down reports of a rift between Owen Paterson and Eric Pickles over the Government's response to flooding in Somerset. The Prime Minister's Offical Spokesman said: "I don't think there's a difference between Eric Pic... Continue to article
My colleague Roger Harrabin reporting that Owen Paterson has complained to the PM about Eric Pickles. #BBCRadio4
Hilary Benn hit out at Eric Pickles for blaming the Environment Agency for the slow response to the flooding crisis in Somerset. "I think the Environment Agency staff have absolutely worked their socks off and I know that from my own exp... Continue to article
Eric Pickles hit out at the Environment Agency for giving poor advice about flooding. "We made a mistake, there’s no doubt about that, we perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency advice, I think we recognise now that we sho... Continue to article
Eric Pickles said there were no restrictions on using the military to help with the flooding crisis and it would be deployed as soon as local resilience forums wanted it to be. “The Prime Minister’s made it absolutely clear: that there a... Continue to article
Eric Pickles has pledged a further £30m in emergency funds to repair flood defences, on top of the £100m unveiled by the Prime Minister yesterday. Updating MPs on the Government's response to the flooding that has plagued the South West ... Continue to article
Maria Eagle said the Government’s decision to offer an additional £100m to help with the response to flooding was an admission that funding should not have been cut in the past. “We’ve seen a delayed and a confused response; 21 Cobras an... Continue to article
Eric Pickles defended the Environment Agency from charges that it has failed to respond properly to flooding. "I think there was genuine surprise that the levels within Somerset didn’t drop, I think, you know, the Environment Agency has ... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: International development questions (topicals at 11.53am) 12 noon: Prime minister questions 12.30pm: Presentation of bill: Public Services (Ownership and User Involvement) Bill Ten minute rule motion: Ani... Continue to article
Hilary Benn hit out at the Government's cuts to local councils ahead of Eric Pickles' statement on funding later today. "Very significant reductions in funding going to communities going to communities and local authorities, much bigger... Continue to article
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said: ‘Under Labour, housebuilding fell to its lowest peacetime rate since the 1920s. Their top-down Regional Strategies and eco-towns failed hardworking families who a... Continue to article
Councils are to receive a £100m emergency fund to try to avert a crisis when new rules governing local authority funding are introduced next year. Some authorities have said changes to the way the Government distributes council tax receipts and local government grants means the working poor will be forced to pay council tax as money for exemptions dries up.
Around £2.3bn worth of council tax is currently going unpaid, data released by local authorities has shown. In Liverpool almost £107m is owed in council tax, while Birmingham has arrears worth more than £96m, and Manchester nearly £49m. Several London Boroughs are also owed upwards of £30m.
Eric Pickles has said David Cameron is doing a "fine job" as Prime Minister and is the "most successful leader" the Conservative Party has had since Margaret Thatcher.
However, he admitted the Coalition had gone through a "difficult time" in the last few days with the controversy over advice to motorists and the taxation of hot food such as pasties.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Communities Secretary also defended the controversial 'granny tax' on pensioners, insisting that most "won't be affected" and that "pensioners are in a much stronger position now than they have ever been".
Eric Pickles has urged residents to sue their local council if they block extensions in people's gardens. Local authorities have in some cases been resistant to the Coalition's plans to encourage house extensions as part of their construction stimulus package. Mr Pickles has intervened, saying he is "surprised" at this resistance, and that residents will be able to seek damages if their council does so.
Eric Pickles says details of high wages at local authorities shows there is still room to crack down on "dodgy pay deals and boomerang bosses" at councils. The Communities Secretary was responding to research from the Taxpayers' Alliance which found that over 3,000 council staff were earning over £100,000 a year. Labour's Hilary Benn said the Conservative Party needed to "get their house in order" as the research showed nine out of ten of "top town hall earners" were employed by Tory councils.
Immigrants who are not taught to speak English "like a native" face life as members of an unemployable "sub-class", Eric Pickles has said.
In an exclusive interview with PoliticsHome's sister publication The House magazine, the Communities Secretary said the Government wanted people to speak adequate English, adding that there would be a £10m grant to help teach immigrants.
Labour have criticised Mr Pickles' language, with Hilary Benn saying he should be "thinking of practical ways to ensure that anyone settling in this country is able to speak English rather than talking about sub-classes".
05/03/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
10/02/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
09/02/2014 on Murnaghan, Sky News
09/02/2014 on The Andrew Marr Show, BBC One
06/02/2014 on BBC News
06/02/2014 on House of Commons
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
Today on The Week in Westminster
Today on The Week in Westminster
Today on Week in Westminster, BBC Radio 4