The Times series has caught up with Barnet councillors Kate and Brian Salinger after they were invited to tea by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government. This happened a few days ago; the invitation was meant to signal the Tory government's displeasure with Barnet Tories.
Kate Salinger, you will remember, was stripped of her council responsibilities by the Barnet Tory group after she abstained in a vote that raised the allowances for the council leader and cabinet members.
Brian Salinger was absent the night the vote was taken, but has aid he would have abstained as well. Read the Times article here and admire the pic.
I wouldn't enjoy tea with Eric Pickles, in fact, I think I'd choke on my fishpaste and cucumber sandwiches, but it certainly is interesting to see the upset in the Tory party over Barnet's tendency to go its own way.
Until recently, Barnet was enjoying a reputation as a trailblazer in local government circles (undeserved, I think), but under Lynne Hillan and Brian Coleman it is now blazing trails to places the government doesn't want to be seen going.