Dennis Skinner

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Dennis Skinner

Dennis Edward Skinner (born 11 February 1932) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolsover since 1970, the Chairman of the Labour Party from 1988 to 1989, and has sat on the National Executive Committee numerous times since 1978.

Quotes[edit]

1980s[edit]

  • Skinner: …it should be placed on record that, according to my hon. Friends who worked tirelessly in the Committee to oppose the provisions of the Bill, including this clause, the Liberal spokesman was not there half the time.
  • David Alton: I do not know where the hon. Gentleman gets his facts from. If it is from one of his friends on the national executive committee of the Labour Party, I suspect that the information is probably as spurious and ridiculous as most of the other things said in that body. I can assure him that what he said is certainly not the case, and I hope that he will withdraw that comment immediately.

[An exchange takes place between the pair and the speaker, who asks Skinner to keep on topic but not to withdraw the remark.]

1990s[edit]

  • When I called the Right Hon. Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dr. Owen) a pompous sod, Mr. Speaker said to me, 'You had better withdraw that'. I said I would withdraw 'pompous', but said, Mr. Speaker 'That's not the word I'm looking for.' There was laughter in the House and everyone thought that I had hit the nail on the head. I thought that that was a real parliamentary triumph, but Mr. Speaker thought differently. He said, 'Off you go,' and I did not get a chance to reply.
  • I have been kicked out of this place about seven times, but I did not have any chance to explain. No one said to me, "Dennis, will you explain why you said that the Right Hon. Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) was lining his pockets when he picked up that non-executive directorship of British Telecom?" I would have loved to tell everyone all about that, but Mr. Speaker said, "On your bike - early bath," and off I had to go.
  • I accused the noble Lord, Lord Pym, when he was a Member of this House, of being the Minister for Unemployment because there were nearly 2 million people on the scrap heap - that pile of human misery known as the dole queue. Again, I was not able to make a speech before Mr. Speaker sent me out.
  • Those were all genuine statements that I had to make. The Hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Browne) was kicked out for 20 days because he lined his pockets with about £50,000 and did not put it in the register as he is supposed to do, and now he is whingeing but I reckon he got away with blue murder!
  • The Hon. Gentleman is making pretty heavy weather of the fact that he was kicked out of this gentleman's club for 20 days. I call it a gentlemen's club.

2000s[edit]

  • Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the 1970s and a lot of the 1980s, we would have thanked our lucky stars in the coalfield areas for growth of 1.75 per cent.? The only thing growing then were the lines of coke in front of boy George Osbourne and the rest of them.
  • Any Tory moles at the Palace?
    • Referring to the recent arrest of Conservative MP w:Damian Green in connection with an investigation about him receiving confidential information from a civil servant at the Home Office who was formerly a Conservative Party candidate.
    • To which Black Rod quipped, I shall miss you, Dennis., receiving laughter from other MPs. The 2008 State Opening of Parliament was Michael Willcocks' last as Black Rod.

2010s[edit]

  • every now and then you see the arrogance of Cameron, and that comes through every so often. It is the Bullingdon Club. When they were sat down – him and Gideon [Obsorne's birth name] – and he says: 'You know what we really want, Gideon? Every weekend, after we've roughed up one of those hotels, we need an army of volunteers to come in and clean it all up.' And Gideon says: 'Yeah, we could call it the Big Society" interview with ,Decca Aitkenhead

Misattributed[edit]

  • Skinner: "Half the Tories opposite are crooks."
  • Speaker: "Please retract that unparliamentary language."
  • Skinnner: "OK, half the Tories opposite are not crooks."
    • There is no evidence that Skinner said this. But see quotation from 1 April 1981, above.
    • It is an old joke which has been around since at least 1927.

( This quote is not misattributed. He said it live on television during Prime Minister's Questions. )

External Links[edit]

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