His fellow parliamentarians might have been away on their jollies but it's been a busy summer for Eric. Bins, bungalows, travellers, parking, those pesky councils and their "hoarding" of reserves - he's been a veritable blur of activity. Sadly, not everyone seemed to appreciate the tireless efforts of our man in Whitehall.

The Rt Hon member Brentwood and Ongar left the chamber after the spending review with the fulsome praise of the chancellor still ringing in his ears.  

Eric, said George, is the "model of lean government" (eh? EH?!) for cutting the DCLG by a whopping 60 per cent and putting a dozen quangos to the sword - and not a handcrafted artisan hamburger in sight.

Eric's long-established reputation as a parliamentary bruiser took a bit of a battering as the communities secretary led the Government's charge on relaxing the planning rules for home extensions.

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