Lord Pickles Portrait

Lord Pickles

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 18th June 2018


COVID-19 Committee
11th Jun 2020 - 28th Apr 2022
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
12th May 2010 - 8th May 2015
Minister for Faith
6th Aug 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Party Chair, Conservative Party
19th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
3rd Jul 2007 - 19th Jan 2009
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
10th May 2005 - 3rd Jul 2007
Deputy Chair, Conservative Party
10th May 2005 - 3rd Jul 2007
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
1st Nov 2003 - 10th May 2005
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
3rd May 2002 - 1st Nov 2003
Shadow Minister (Transport)
1st Jun 2001 - 1st Jun 2002
Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 1998 - 1st Jun 2001
Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs
14th Jul 1997 - 30th Nov 1998
Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
1st Jul 1993 - 1st May 1997
Transport Committee
27th Nov 1995 - 21st Mar 1997


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Pickles has voted in 393 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pickles voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 33 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 214
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pickles voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 40 Conservative Aye votes vs 165 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 359 Noes - 188
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Pickles voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 143 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 161
View All Lord Pickles Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(21 debate interactions)
Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative)
(11 debate interactions)
Baroness Sugg (Conservative)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Lord Pickles's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Pickles, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


5 Bills introduced by Lord Pickles

Introduced: 9th May 2013

A Bill to make provision for, and in connection with, the abolition of the Audit Commission for local authorities and the National Health Service in England; to make provision about the accounts of local and certain other public authorities and the auditing of those accounts; to make provision about the appointment, functions and regulation of local auditors; to make provision about data matching; to make provision about examinations by the Comptroller and Auditor-General relating to English local and other public authorities; to make provision about the publication of information by smaller authorities; to make provision for directions to comply with codes of practice on local authority publicity; to make provision about council tax referendums; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 30th January 2014 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 18th October 2012

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 25 April. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law). To make provision in connection with facilitating or controlling the following, namely, the provision or use of infrastructure, the carrying-out of development, and the compulsory acquisition of land; to make provision about when rating lists are to be compiled; to make provision about the rights of employees of companies who agree to be employee owners; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 25th April 2013 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 19th December 2011

None

This Bill received Royal Assent on 31st October 2012 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 10th January 2012

A Bill to make provision about non-domestic rating; to make provision about grants to local authorities; to make provision about council tax; to make provision about the supply of information for purposes relating to rates in Northern Ireland; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 31st October 2012 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 13th December 2010

To make provision about the functions and procedures of local and certain other authorities; to make provision about the functions of the Local Commission for Administration in England; to enable the recovery of financial sanctions imposed by the Court of Justice of the European Union on the United Kingdom from local and public authorities; to make provision about local government finance; to make provision about town and country planning, the Community Infrastructure Levy and the authorisation of nationally significant infrastructure projects; to make provision about social and other housing; to make provision about regeneration in London; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 15th November 2011 and was enacted into law.


Latest 22 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the District Councils' Network on the safe opening of leisure facilities following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leisure facilities and gyms play a crucial role in supporting people to be active and the Government is committed to reopening sports and physical activity facilities as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are holding regular discussions with representatives from the leisure sector, national sports organisations and local authorities to support the opening of facilities in a timely and safe manner once lockdown measures are eased. The Minister for Sport discussed some of these matters directly with the District Council Network at one of its weekly conference calls on Monday 8 June.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK aid supports the Palestinian Authority’s production of school textbooks.

The UK does not fund textbooks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our education funding to the PA contributes to the salaries of carefully vetted education public servants, including teachers. Following allegations of incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s school textbooks, the UK secured agreement from our European partners to lead an independent review of the textbooks, which is underway. We expect interim findings by June 2020 and full findings later in the year.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether reported antisemitic content in the Palestinian Authority’s school curriculum is in breach of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.

The UK government is deeply concerned about the allegations of incitement in Palestinian Authority’s school textbooks. The International Development Secretary reiterated our concerns in a call to the Palestinian Authority’s Education Minister just last month.

In order to assess the concerns highlighted in this question, the UK took the lead in calling for an independent review of Palestinian textbooks, as a result of which an independent review of the alleged incitement to violence and hatred in the textbooks is underway with the support of our European partners. We expect interim findings in Spring 2020 and full findings later in the year.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the reported antisemitic and extremist content in Palestinian Authority school textbooks adhere to (1) the Palestinian Authority–Department for International Development Memorandum of Understanding, and (2) the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to take action against incitement to violence.

Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding and our ‘partnership principles’. We continue to judge that the PA are demonstrating a credible commitment to this Memorandum and the ‘partnership principles’. Related to education, the Palestinian Authority’s Education Minister has announced that he is currently revising the textbooks in time for the next academic year. The Palestinian Authority have also agreed to engage constructively with the review of the textbooks that we secured through our European Partners.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to expand the National Parking Platform, given the dismantling of many car parking payment machines and their replacement with mobile apps.

My Department recognises the importance of the National Parking Platform which is why we have provided £800,000 to fund the pilot in Manchester. We are considering the governance and funding requirements for a nationwide roll out of the platform in England. There have been no discussions to date on this topic with the devolved administrations.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the devolved governments about the possibility of expanding the National Parking Platform to the whole of the UK, so that motorists can use a parking app of preference and are no longer faced with up to 30 separate parking apps.

My Department recognises the importance of the National Parking Platform which is why we have provided £800,000 to fund the pilot in Manchester. We are considering the governance and funding requirements for a nationwide roll out of the platform in England. There have been no discussions to date on this topic with the devolved administrations.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to build consensus among international partners on halting the supply of arms to all parties funding, sheltering or supporting proscribed terrorist groups, including Hamas.

The UK is a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty and fully implements its provisions. While the Treaty does not explicitly prohibit transfers to non-state actors, the UK considers that the requirements in Article 7 (Export and Export Assessment) and Article 11 (Diversion) require States Parties to take all appropriate steps to prevent the sale or diversion of arms to undesirable end uses or end users, including terrorist groups. Specifically, Article 7 deals with exports which would 'undermine peace and security' or could be used to breach international conventions or protocols relating to terrorism to which the exporting state is a party.

The Government will also not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, which includes Criterion 1: respect for the UK's international obligations and commitments. An export licence will also be refused if there is a risk that the items will be diverted to an undesirable end-user or for an undesirable end-use, including to terrorist organisations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the UK’s foreign policy of Israel’s claims to have discovered a Hamas intelligence command centre and terror tunnels beneath UNWRA’s Gaza headquarters.

The UK takes allegations of neutrality violations seriously including any incidents related to UN installations. This is something we monitor closely in our annual assessment of UNRWA. When violations have been identified in the past, UNRWA has taken action including raising the issue with relevant parties.

We are aware that the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and Catherine Colonna have now provided their interim reports to the UN Secretary-General. Their independent investigations include assessment of the policies and systems UNRWA has in place to ensure neutrality.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether reports of antisemitic and extremist content in Palestinian school textbooks adhere to (1) the Palestinian Authority–Department for International Development Memorandum of Understanding, and (2) the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to take action against incitement to violence.

Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and actions that could incite violence or hatred. We have been clear that incitement to hatred or violence is unacceptable and has no place in education. We continue to assess the PA's commitment to peace in line with our Partnership Principles.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the Palestinian Authority's compliance with the Optional Protocol of the Convention Against Torture.

Human Rights is a crucial element underpinning the UK's foreign policy. We continue to urge the Palestinian Authority (PA) to respect human rights, to ensure complaints of mistreatment or arbitrary detention are properly investigated and to further improve the performance of the security sector. An essential aspect of our efforts to prepare the ground for a two state-solution is to support a stable PA that can deliver services to its people and act as an effective partner for peace with Israel. The UK will continue to monitor these areas closely and raise with the highest levels of the PA.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to reports of the detention and intimidation of Palestinian human rights activists in the Palestinian territories, what recent discussions the Foreign Secretary has had with the Palestinian Authority about the activities of the PA Preventative Security Organisation.

Human Rights is a crucial element underpinning the UK's foreign policy. We continue to urge the Palestinian Authority (PA) to respect human rights, to ensure complaints of mistreatment or arbitrary detention are properly investigated and to continue to improve the performance of the security sector. An essential aspect of our efforts to prepare the ground for a two state-solution is to support a stable PA that can deliver services to its people and act as an effective partner for peace with Israel. The UK will continue to monitor these areas closely and raise with the highest levels of the PA.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what criteria informed the decision to direct £16 million of UK aid to improving educational links with Iran between 2013 and 2017, (2) what projects the grants were used on, (3) how the projects were monitored, and (4) what plans they have to publish the results of such monitoring.

Between 2013 and 2017, the total FCO bilateral spending on Iran was approximately £4.4 million. These funds were spent on developing long-term people-to-people educational and cultural links between our two countries, including supporting English teachers, artists and Chevening scholars. Chevening supports exceptional young people all over the world to reach their potential, and remains open for applicants in Iran. Given these projects were run by a combination of British Council, Chevening and the FCO, these programmes were monitored and evaluated in line with standard FCO and British Council processes. The British Council do not currently operate or fund programmes in Iran.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people who are severely mentally impaired received an exemption or a discount on council tax in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Local authorities are responsible for administering council tax, including exemptions such as those available to someone assessed as being severely mentally impaired. Authorities should satisfy themselves that an individual has both a certificate from a medical practitioner and is entitled to one of a range of listed benefits, including Attendance Allowance. Attendance Allowance is available to people of State Pension Age who have had care or supervision needs for at least six months. Councils should ensure that any applications for a council tax exemption are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Data are collected for England by local authorities and the latest data, for 2022-23, can be (attached) found here.

Data are not collected on the number of people who are severely mentally impaired and receive an exemption.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that severely mentally impaired persons who are entitled to attendance allowance qualify for an exception or a discount on council tax within six months of being diagnosed as severely medically impaired by a medical practitioner.

Local authorities are responsible for administering council tax, including exemptions such as those available to someone assessed as being severely mentally impaired. Authorities should satisfy themselves that an individual has both a certificate from a medical practitioner and is entitled to one of a range of listed benefits, including Attendance Allowance. Attendance Allowance is available to people of State Pension Age who have had care or supervision needs for at least six months. Councils should ensure that any applications for a council tax exemption are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Data are collected for England by local authorities and the latest data, for 2022-23, can be (attached) found here.

Data are not collected on the number of people who are severely mentally impaired and receive an exemption.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) organisations, (2) charities, (3) debt advice services, and (4) local authorities were consulted as part of their review on unpaid Council Tax arrears, announced on 10 April 2019.

The Department has been working closely with a range of billing authorities, debt advice charities and civil enforcement agencies to better understand the approaches taken in local government in collecting council tax. On the basis of this work, the Department is now preparing guidance setting out the best practice that already exists in the collection and enforcement of council tax. This will be published as soon as possible.

15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the new guidance to local authorities on the collection of unpaid Council Tax to end aggressive enforcement tactics, announced on 10 April 2019, will be issued.

The Department has been working closely with a range of billing authorities, debt advice charities and civil enforcement agencies to better understand the approaches taken in local government in collecting council tax. On the basis of this work, the Department is now preparing guidance setting out the best practice that already exists in the collection and enforcement of council tax. This will be published as soon as possible.

15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the recommendations of their review, which promised to make council tax collection fairer and more efficient, launched on 10 April 2019, will be published.

The Department has been working closely with a range of billing authorities, debt advice charities and civil enforcement agencies to better understand the approaches taken in local government in collecting council tax. On the basis of this work, the Department is now preparing guidance setting out the best practice that already exists in the collection and enforcement of council tax. This will be published as soon as possible.

8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Answer by Lord Bellamy on 29 November on humanist marriages (HL Deb col 1668), why they have committed to legislating for outdoor religious marriages outside of wholesale reform of marriage law.

As part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, in which the circumstances were exceptional, the Government accelerated legislation to allow outdoor civil weddings and civil partnership registrations to take place within the grounds of existing approved premises. Following a recent consultation on these measures, the provisions were made permanent. In addition, respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal to permit outdoor religious ceremonies in the grounds of places of worship, as long as this is permitted by the respective religious bodies. The Government will therefore take these proposals forward in due course.

The Law Commission’s report on weddings law was published in July and the Government is currently considering its recommendations. As has been set out in Parliament, marriage will always be one of our most important institutions and we must ensure that before publishing a response, we have considered the implications of any changes to the law very carefully.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will issue a full response to the Law Commission’s weddings law report Celebrating Marriage: A New Weddings Law, published on 19 July.

The Government is currently considering the Law Commission’s report on weddings law and has a duty to consider the implications of any changes to the law in this area very carefully. The report proposes fundamental reform to weddings law in England and Wales and it is important that we take the time to fully consider the Law Commission’s recommendations before publishing a response. We will publish our response to the report in due course.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will give humanist marriages legal recognition by laying an Order under the Marriage Act 2013; and if so, whether they will consider doing so on an interim basis pending further reform of marriage law.

In July 2019, the Government invited the Law Commission to undertake a review of weddings law in England and Wales. The Law Commission report was published on 19 July 2022 and contains 57 recommendations for legislative reform.

To lay an order on an interim basis does not allow the necessary time to consider the Law Commission’s recommendations in full. As has been set out in Parliament, marriage will always be one of our most important institutions, and we have a duty to consider the implications of any changes to the law in this area very carefully, including balancing the needs and interests of all groups. We will publish a response to the report in due course.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)