United Kingdom Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues

The Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles MP


Sir Eric, formerly Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, leads the government’s work on post-Holocaust initiatives.

Sir Eric Pickles was appointed Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues in September 2015, replacing Sir Andrew Burns, who is stepping down after 5 years in the role. Sir Eric works closely with the wide range of Holocaust academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK.

Sir Eric’s 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. He will also be working 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.

Sir Eric’s role includes a focus on the restitution of art and immovable property and promoting the implementation of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets.

Sir Eric is also UK Government Anti-Corruption Champion and has been Conservative MP for Brentwood and Ongar since 1992.


Eric was educated at Greenhead Grammar School and Leeds Polytechnic.

Political career

Eric 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 FCO can work closely and effectively with foreign powers.

Previous roles in government

  1. Minister for Faith

    • 2014 to 2015
  2. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

    • 2010 to 2015


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