RUNNING close to Gerald Kaufman as ‘Father of the House’, 84-year-old Dennis Skinner, ‘The Beast of Bolsover’ as well as being described by Robin Day as ‘something of a cult’ in an interview that went wrong, has been thrown out of Parliament yet again on April 11, this time for refusing to withdraw the sobriquet ‘Dodgy Dave’ when asking the prime minister a question about his personal finances following the Panama revelations.
According to reports in a number of British newspapers, his question was as follows: “Does the prime minister recall that at the time after he became prime minister under the coalition and at the time when he was dividing the nation between strivers and scroungers, I asked him a very important question about the windfall he received when he wrote off the mortgage of the premises in Notting Hill, and I said to him he didn’t write off the mortgage of the one taxpayers were helping to pay for at Oxford?”
“I didn’t receive a proper answer then. Maybe dodgy Dave will answer it now.”
Parliamentary microphones were switched off whilst he was twice asked to take back the ‘insult’ and when he refused, he was sent out of the commons for the day by Speaker John Bercow for using unparliamentary language.
As he went to ‘sit on the naughty step’ he added: “This man has done more to divide this nation than anyone else.”
“I still refer to him as dodgy Dave.”
His other exclusions include:
In 1984, accusing Margaret Thatcher of bribing judges.
In 1992, referring to the Minister of Agriculture John Gummer as a “little squirt of a minister” and a “wart.”
In 1995, accusing the government of a “crooked deal” to sell off Britain’s coal mines.
In 2005, when referring to the economic record of the Conservatives in the 1980s, making the remark: “The only thing that was growing then were the lines of coke in front of boy George and the rest of the Tories.”
In 2006, accusing Deputy Speaker Sir Alan Haselhurst of leniency towards remarks made by opposition frontbencher Theresa May “because she’s a Tory.”
Having served as an MP since 1970, Dennis Skinner certainly adds some colour to the proceedings.