Peter Hoskin

The Tories need to wake up to the anti-politician atmosphere

The Tories need to wake up to the anti-politician atmosphere
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Eric Pickles' appearance on Question Time last night (excruciating video here) should make the Tories sit up and take notice of the anti-politician mood that's swirling around the country.  When even one of their more popular figures (at least among the grassroots) can receive such a public lashing over his dubious housing arrangements, it's a clear sign that action needs to be taken - and pretty damn quick. 

So far, the Lib Dems have led on the issue of second homes, calling for the second home allowance to be abolished for London MPs.  But much, much more needs to be done to restore people's faith in the political class.  On that front, Tim Montgomerie's right that David Cameron should start pushing for cuts in MPs' and ministers' pay.  The Tory leader might face some opposition from his colleagues, but he'd have the public right behind him.

P.S. Iain Martin has his say on the Pickles debacle over at Three Line Whip: "Tories should put Eric Pickles under house arrest".