Pickles told to come up with something not involving food

TUCK-LOVING Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has been severely reprimanded after unveiling yet another grub-based ‘cohesion strategy’.

The Big Lunch, an event in which everyone basically brings Eric Pickles sandwiches and cake, follows his recent announcement of a special school for makers of delicious curries, where he will be ‘taster of honour’.

The word ‘PICKLES!’ reverberated around the corridors of parliament yesterday as David Cameron angrily summoned the minister, whose less-cunning-than-he-thinks schemes often have unexpected comedy consequences.

Coalition advisor Nikki Hollis said: “When David Cameron saw the brief for The Big Lunch, which was pitched as ‘everyone comes to Eric’s garden with lots of scrummy cakes and pies’, steam practically came out of his ears.

“Eric had even absent-mindedly scribbled the word ‘yum’ in biro on the bottom of the document, probably without realising.”

In his nebulous role as Communities Secretary, Eric has yet to come up with anything that doesn’t in some way involve pastry, gravy or treacle.

Hollis said: “This is just the latest in a long line of food-based concepts from Eric, such as ‘Custard in the Community’, ‘Give Your Communities Secretary A Biscuit’ and a plan for a giant pie that symbolises diversity by incorporating every type of meat.”

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Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Aquarius (20 JAN-19 FEB)
A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! And I’ll give you twenty quid if you can get me some rubber gloves and a big jar of goose fat while you’re at it.

Pisces (20 FEB-20 MAR)
Impress your new boss by scribbling copious notes throughout a meeting, making sure he doesn’t read them and realise you’re just listing all the heavy things you’d like to fling at his groin.

Aries (21 MAR-19 APR)
When you tell your friends that you never argue with your other half they think you’re being smug but what they don’t realise is it’s because you’re absolutely terrified of her.

Taurus (20 APRIL – 20 MAY)
It’s always a startling discovery to find your first grey pubic hair, especially when it’s nestling on top of the French onion soup you just ordered.

Gemini (21 MAY-20 JUN)

She was a kooky free spirit with an outrageous sense of adventure. He was a buttoned-down hypochondriac who’d never left his home town. But when they ended up on a date, they absolutely loathed each other and called it a night before the starter even arrived.

Cancer (21 JUN-22 JUL)
While everybody loves an optimist, it may be time to acknowledge that you can throw away that ‘Torres to finish top scorer in the Premier League’ betting slip.

Leo (23 JUL-22 AUG)
You’re holding off any boycott of Murdoch’s Sun on Sunday newspaper until you can conclusively assess how many pap shots of The Saturdays getting out of a limo it’ll have each week. No point painting yourself into a corner.

Virgo (23 AUG-22 SEP)
Having an intervention staged on your behalf doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an alcoholic but when it’s shown on prime time Saturday night ITV you may have to take action.

Libra (23 SEP-23 OCT)
I see you driving round town with the girl I love, and I’m like – screw you. And your British School of Motoring.

Scorpio (24 OCT-21 NOV)
Fame of a sort this week as you prompt the trending Twitter hashtag #haveyouevervomitedoverabishop?

Sagittarius (22 NOV-21 DEC)
No, I don’t think chopping up chopping up a load of crab sticks into a sweet & sour Pot Noodle does count as ‘pan-Asian cuisine’, actually.

Capricorn (22 DEC-19 JAN)
Your star sign needs a software update. Please switch the universe off and switch it back on again.