Eric Pickles is heckled in the street during his walkabout in Bedford

Eric Pickles visits Bedford. He was stopped in the street during a walkabout and questioned by a voter. Also pictured are mayoral candidate Jas Parmar, Castle ward candidate Shish Miah and Bromham and Biddenham ward candidate Roger Rigby.

Eric Pickles visits Bedford. He was stopped in the street during a walkabout and questioned by a voter. Also pictured are mayoral candidate Jas Parmar, Castle ward candidate Shish Miah and Bromham and Biddenham ward candidate Roger Rigby.

  • Conservative Eric Pickles visited Bedford to support Jas Parmar’s bid for mayor
  • He was taken on a brief tour of the town centre
  • The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government popped in to meet a local coffee shop owner
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Politician Eric Pickles was heckled in the street during a whistle-stop visit to Bedford.

One passerby called out ‘resign, resign’ as the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was interviewed by journalists.

Eric Pickles visits Bedford. He stopped off in High Street coffee shop Crema. He is pictured talking to owner Rachid Kadri. Also pictured are mayoral candidate Jas Parmar and Castle ward candidate Shish Miah.

Eric Pickles visits Bedford. He stopped off in High Street coffee shop Crema. He is pictured talking to owner Rachid Kadri. Also pictured are mayoral candidate Jas Parmar and Castle ward candidate Shish Miah.

Another town centre shopper ripped up a leaflet handed to him about Conservative mayoral candidate Jas Parmar.

But Mr Pickles, who assured that the newly announced Tory pledge to extend the right to buy policy to housing association tenants will not lead to a property shortage, also gained a voter who accosted him in the street.

The mystery man confessed he had been considering supporting UKIP in the General Election but, after a short conversation, he shook Mr Pickle’s hand and said: “I’m not sure this year what to do but I’m leaning towards you now.”

The well-recognised politician was in Bedford briefly to support Mr Parmar’s battle to become the mayor of Bedford Borough.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government saw fit to visit Bedford and support my campaign for free car parking and also cutting council tax, which is something that Conservatives have been championing for a very long time,” said Mr Parmar.

“We want to make sure the hardworking people get to keep their hard earned money.”

During his walk around the town centre Mr Pickles, who appeared to be limping, stopped off at High Street cafe Crema to speak to owner Rachid Kadri.

The businessman was tight lipped on who will be getting his vote on May 7 but after his talk with Mr Pickles he did reveal: “Sometimes you feel like you are left out but it is good when you get people visiting from time to time. 
“I think that shows some care, which is good especially when there is tough competition.”

On leaving the town, Mr Pickles, who had already visited Milton Keynes earlier in the day, said: “I had a great time.”