Communities Secretary Eric Pickles's comments drew laughter around the room
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'Flog' wheelie bin offenders, says Eric Pickles

People who leave their wheelie bins in the middle of the road "should be flogged", Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has joked.

He was appearing before the Communities and Local Government Committee, answering questions submitted via Twitter.

Reading one aloud, Labour MP Simon Danczuk asked: "Should people be able to be punished for leaving their wheelie bins in the street after they've been emptied?"

Mr Pickles replied, to much laughter in the room, "they should be flogged," before adding with a smile "flogging's too good for them."

Adopting a more serious tone, he emphasised that leaving wheelie bins in the middle of the road "is not exactly good-neighbourly is it?"

Mr Danzcuk predicted, to laughter, that the minister's comments would "be a headline tomorrow", and quipped: "You were doing so well, as well."