Dennis Skinner, the Beast of Bolsover – five of his best quotes

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner hit headlines on Friday after he blasted UKIP’s new MP, Mark Reckless, in the House of Commons.

By Michael Broomhead
Monday, 24th November 2014, 8:31 am
Dennis Skinner.
Dennis Skinner.

The 82-year-old firebrand Labour politician, dubbed the Beast of Bolsover, is famed for his acerbic wit and sharp tongue.

Here are five of the veteran MP’s best quotes...

5. Skinner, to Tory MP Jeremy Hunt after his special adviser ‘resigned’: “When posh boys are in trouble, they sack the servants.”

4. Skinner, in reference to then shadow Chancellor George Osborne after he attacked Labour’s economic credibility: “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 and the rest of them.”

House of Commons Speaker: “This seems to be a trend with the honourable gentleman. He MUST withdraw that remark.”

Mr Skinner: “It was in the News of the World.”

House of Commons Speaker: “The honourable gentleman MUST withdraw the remark.”

Mr Skinner: “No, I will not withdraw it. It is true.”

3. “I am proud to stand up for my class, to say publicly that I am from good working-class stock. I am proud to be a trade unionist, to be a member of the Labour Party and to be a socialist. I stick to my principles. I know no other way in politics. I make mistakes, everybody does. Nobody is perfect. I have no monopoly on the best way of being an MP. I try not to let anybody down. I’ve sailed close to the wind in my life but always for the good of the cause, to champion those at the bottom of the pile who deserve better.”

2. “Is the Prime Minister aware that the most revealing statistic in recent days has been the fact that in recession-hit Britain, the billionaires have gone up by 20 - an increase of 37 per cent - in the first year of this Tory rule, while in the real world inflation is going through the roof and thousands of blind people are having to march through the streets of London to hang on to their disability living allowance? What a savage indictment of this lousy, rotten Tory Government, propped up by these pathetic Liberals.”

1. Skinner: “Half the Tory members opposite are crooks”

House of Commons Speaker: “The honourable member MUST withdraw that remark”

Skinner: “OK, half the Tories are not crooks”