Labour’s veteran MP Dennis Skinner is in his 88th year, but still remains the party’s most fiery MP, famous for his now-traditional quips at each Queen’s Speech, blistering put-downs of Tory front-benchers and occasional corrections of errant reporters.
The ‘beast of Bolsover’ has also been being expelled from the Commons chamber at least ten times – including, memorably, for once calling David Owen a ‘pompous sod’ and when reprimanded, only agreeing to withdraw the word ‘pompous’.
Sadly, some of these moments took place before cameras were allowed in the chamber – but below is a selection of six that were caught on camera.
Which would be your pick of the bunch? Answer the poll at the end:
1. ‘Dodgy Dave’
Skinner’s condemnation of David Cameron was one of the occasions for which he was expelled, after refusing to retract it:
2. Love the NHS, hate UKIP
Skinner ‘welcomed’ a new UKIP MP to the Commons with a withering attack that praised the NHS and the ‘united nations’ of medics who had saved his life with a heart bypass:
3. ‘The first race is half past two’
In 2017, Skinner’s traditional quip to deflate the pomp and ceremony of the Queen’s Speech also took aim at the royals’ luxury lifestyle, as the Queen was heading to Ascot straight from Parliament:
4. Keep out of Syria – ‘You don’t know who the enemy is’
Skinner’s intervention against military action in Syria is all the more relevant now, as he warns about Turkey bombing the Kurds helping defeat ISIS:
5. ‘Murdoch Maitlis’
When the BBC’s Emily Maitlis tried to spin Skinner’s longstanding lack of desire for a front-bench position as a refusal to serve under Jeremy Corbyn, Skinner took her to task – live on national TV – to remind her she doesn’t work for Rupert Murdoch:
6. ‘Boy George’ and the lines of coke
In another moment that saw him expelled from the chamber, Skinner talked of the economic hardships caused by the Tories with a famous barb aimed then-Chancellor George Osborne:
Which is your favourite? Have your say below – or if it’s another, put a link in the comments.
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