PICKLES Eric smiling

Today brings the news that Eric Pickles, the former Communities Secretary and chairman of the Conservative Party, is to be knighted.

This is a reward well-earned: as we outlined on this website only yesterday, Pickles has played a decisive role in the undoing of Lutfur Rahman’s corruption-ridden reign in Tower Hamlets.

Yet whilst he is no longer a Cabinet minister, it’s important that this honour doesn’t represent a ‘golden handshake’ and a slide into gentle retirement for the MP for Brentwood and Ongar.

He has been given a very important new role: as the Government’s ‘anti-corruption czar’. It is essential both that he is given the resources to mount proper investigations and that his recommendations, when they come, are acted upon by Parliament.

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