Community Minister Eric Pickles

Eric Pickles

Former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is to be given a knighthood, Downing Street has announced.

The Conservative Friends of Israel Chair will be made a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his public service as an MP, a former Cabinet minister and his time in local government, No 10 said.

Mr Pickles said his family were “absolutely delighted” according to the BBC.

“I’m obviously very pleased with the honour and am looking forward to my day at the Palace,” he said.

“When I left the Cabinet the prime minister asked if I would accept a knighthood and I indicated that I would but it then has to go through a committee. I’m very pleased.”

Mr Pickles, who was first elected to Parliament in 1992, lost his front bench role following the general election.

The Brentwood and Ongar MP, one of Israel and the community’s greatest allies in the last Parliament, first visited the country in 1994 and returned in his cabinet role last year.