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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Eric Pickles

Date of birth

20 April 1952

Political profile

Eric Pickles was first elected to the Commons in 1992, representing an Essex seat far from his Yorkshire roots.

He is unusual among Conservative MPs in having extensive local government experience.

He led Bradford District Council for three years up to 1991, in which time he gained renown for the zeal with which he implemented Thatcherite principles of privatisation and market-based solutions.

Following his election as an MP, his experience was put into use when he became a vice-chairman of the party with responsibility for local government.

After the 1997 election, he became junior social security spokesman, revealing a good humoured, doggedly loyal character.

After the 2001 election, in which he defeated a challenge from Martin Bell, his continued enthusiasm for private finance solutions to public service problems led him to endorse Iain Duncan Smith's campaign for the leadership.

He was named shadow transport minister in the new leader's first reshuffle, and subsequently became shadow local government and regions secretary.

Michael Howard kept him in the same portfolio, and appointed him as Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government.

Contact

picklese@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01277 210725

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