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Regional journalists set to quiz Pickles

Local government and communities secretary Eric Pickles is to be quizzed by regional press political editors at a lunch next week.

The Cabinet minister, who is the architect of new rules designed to clamp down on council newspapers, will be guest of honour at a Newspaper Conference quarterly lunch on Monday.

The Newspaper Conference comprises regional press political journalists who report on developments in Westminster for daily and weekly titles across Britain.

The lunch will be hosted by Conference chairman Nick Lester, parliamentary correspondent for Northcilffe Media.