United Kingdom Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues

The Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles

Biography

Sir Eric Pickles was appointed Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues in September 2015, replacing Sir Andrew Burns. Sir Eric works closely with the wide range of Holocaust academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK.

Sir Eric was Conservative MP for Brentwood and Ongar from 1992 until he stood down at the general election in June 2017. He was formerly Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Education

Eric was educated at Greenhead Grammar School and Leeds Polytechnic.

Political career

Sir Eric was the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion from 2015 to Spring 2017, and was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015. He was Leader of Bradford City Council from 1988 to 1990. He held a number of positions while in opposition, including Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2007 to 2009 and Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010.

Career outside politics

He worked as a consultant in employment practice and as Local Government Editor for Conservative Newsline before becoming an MP in 1992. He is a trustee of 2 local charities – Brentwood Foyer and Brentwood Theatre.

Personal life

Eric lives with his wife Irene in Brentwood, Essex.

United Kingdom Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues

Special representatives use their expertise to develop a greater coherent effort in making sure that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office can work closely and effectively with foreign powers.

The Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues’ key objective is to ensure that the UK continues to play a prominent role in international discussions on all Holocaust-related matters, especially those relating to education and the opening of archives and that we continue to respond to the concerns of Holocaust victims and their families.

The role also:

  • works closely with the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation to help it develop international partnerships that can support the new world-class Learning Centre to be established in London and advance Holocaust education around the world
  • includes a focus on the restitution of art and immovable property and promoting the implementation of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets

Previous roles in government

  1. Minister for Faith

    • 2014 to 2015
  2. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine)

    • 2010 to 2015

Announcements

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  1. Sir Eric Pickles speech on tackling corruption

    • Speech
  2. A definition of antisemitism

    • Speech
  3. Sir Eric Pickles speech at the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism Conference

    • Speech
  4. Further intervention in London borough of Tower Hamlets

    • Government response
  5. Better bin buying would save £70 million every year, says report

    • Press release
  6. 100 councils set to freeze Council Tax as authorities sit on £30 billion

    • Press release
  7. Eric Pickles welcomes council prayers law

    • Press release
  8. Local government: delivering for England

    • Statement to Parliament
  9. Housing and planning

    • Statement to Parliament
  10. British Holocaust heroes honoured as projects launched to ‘never forget’

    • News story