Labour MP for Gateshead, Ian Mearns, has criticised Eric Pickles' accusation that English councils who raise a "stealth tax" by 1.99% in a bid to avoid the Government's 2% referendum threshold are "democracy dodgers".
In his article in The Daily Telegraph, Pickles warned "anybody using loop holes will lose out next year".
After his party colleague Jack Dromey condemned Mr Pickles' claims, Mr Mearns added:
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Cloudy and mild tonight with cloudy skies again for most of us tomorrow.