Cllr Ed Malcolm, a Labour councillor on South Tyneside and the Council's Cabinet Member for Resources, has made the startling claim tat the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is "fat."

Cllr Malcolm was speaking in the context of the need to talk to Government Ministers.

He said:

 "Whether we like it or not, and I certainly don't like it, we have got to speak to these people."

"All these people, and one of the things they have all got in common, going from big fat Eric Pickles, right the way down, is they have all been involved in local government."

Cllr David Potts, the leader of the Conservative Group, has rallied round.

Cllr Potts says:

"Ed Malcolm is hardly a bronzed Adonis himself. May I suggest that Ed put his photograph on and let the public decide between the two. My money is firmly on Eric Pickles."

Another councillor, Cllr Ahmed Khan of the Independent Alliance, is reporting Cllr Malcolm to the Standards Board. Lucky for Cllr Malcolm that the Standrds Board is being abolished – by "big fat Eric."

William Shakespeare says:

Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.

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