Eric Pickles: since he became secretary of state for communities and local government, his life has been dominated by planning regulations. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/PA

Eric Pickles, an ebullient, often blustering Yorkshireman, was given two pieces of advice by his predecessor, Sir Robert McCrindle, when(...)

Ninety minutes on Monday night seemed a long time to be stuck in fantasy land for someone like me who has a horror of novels that involve a map(...)

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