Queen's Speech Heckle From Dennis Skinner Comes After 7 Fiery Tory Takedowns

He wasn't afraid to take on Thatcher or George Osborne.

18/05/2016 11:24 | Updated 18 May 2016
PA/PA Wire

Dennis Skinner has unleashed a withering quip at the government, as is his usual custom, when the Queen visited Westminster today

The Bolsover MP has a long history of issuing one-liner snipes at the Conservative benches just moments after Black Rod invites MPs to hear Her Majesty deliver the annual Queen's Speech. 

Some of his heckles over the years have included, in 2014, "Coalition's last stand"; "Royal Mail for sale, Queen's head privatised" in 2013; and "Jubilee year, double dip recession, what a start" - to cries of 'shame' from Tory MPs - in 2012.

This year he opted for: "Hands off the BBC."

But Skinner has a history of launching fiery tirades at Tories on the benches opposite.

Here are seven times the firebrand Labour backbencher gave other MPs a fearless dressing down:

  • 1 Ejected for Osborne 'coke' jibe
    MP ejected from Commons over drug slur

    Labour MP Dennis Skinner has been sent out of the Commons for accusing Tory George Osborne of taking cocaine. The Bolsover MP said he was referring to Sunday newspaper claims, which had been denied by Tatton MP Mr Osborne.

    Posted by Dennis Skinner on Tuesday, 7 April 2009
    Skinner was expelled from the Commons back in 2005 for comments about George Osborne and cocaine. 

    He told MPs: "Is my honourable friend aware that in the 1970s and in a lot of the 1980s we would have thanked our lucky stars in the coalfield to have got a growth of 1.75%?"

    "The only thing that was growing then was the lines of coke in front of Boy George and the rest of the Tories."

    He was quickly ordered to leave the chamber after refusing to withdraw the remark, saying "No, I'm not withdrawing it ... it's true."

    A Conservative party spokesman later responded: "When the Labour Party gets personal you know they are rattled."
  • 2 Skinner says minister 'looks like Thatcher'
    Skinner's interventions once went so far that he was accused of sexism for a remark he fired at business minister Anna Soubry. 

    He began by using the announcement last year that Redcar steelworks would be shut as evidence of "the real face of Toryism". 

    "This is the day when the northern powerhouse of [George] Osborne and his stratergy died its death," he said. 

    Responding to Soubry asking what his question was, Skinner called across the chamber: "You even look like Thatcher". 

    She fired back, quickly: "You know what, that is so out of order. Can I just say to the honourable gentleman, I find it offensive because it's sexist and he should know better."
  • 3 Dodgy Dave (again)
    This week's 'Dodgy Dave' outburst wasn't the first time Skinner has employed the phrase. He used it twice previously, most recently in July 2015.

    Tackling David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions, the Bolsover MP declared: "For a man who's seemingly never away from Europe, why is it that he's never taken the opportunity to put in a claim for state aid to save British miners' jobs?

    "He's the man who during the election campaign masqueraded as the workers' champion and he hasn't got the guts to help those miners.

    "He took £700m out of the mineworkers' pension scheme and he's not given a penny back.

    "No wonder they call him Dodgy Dave... A man who went to Eton..."

    Skinner was not expelled on this occasion, as his comment was drowned out by jeers from MPs in the Commons, but Cameron was quick to fire back. 

    The PM joked: "It's very good to see the Labour Party in full voice cheering on Jurassic Park. I would stick to the movie."
  • 4 Ukip and Mark Reckless targeted
    The Labour MP accused Ukip's first MPs in the last parliament of wanting to deport foreigners in a fiery outburst.

    After Mark Reckless defected from the Conservatives then won re-election and was was sworn in as Ukip's second MP in 2014, Skinner tore into him in a debate on the NHS.

    "We dragged the National Health Service from the depths of degradation," he said.

    "I've got a United Nations heart bypass to prove it and it was done by a Syrian cardiologist, a Malaysian surgeon, a Dutch doctor and a Nigerian registrar."

    To loud shouts from his fellow Labour MPs, Skinner went on to savage Carswell and Reckless for their "talk about sending them [foreigners] back".
  • 5 'Abolish Atos' rally
    Skinner also implored David Cameron to "get rid" of the company that decides whether people are fit for work, after a constituent of his died of cancer while waiting on an 11 month-long appeal.

    "Isn't it time we put an end to this system where people who are really suffering should not be allowed an appeal, having to live in £70 a week, him and his widow?," he lamented.

    "Two things the prime minister should do. One, with immediate effect make an ex gratia payment to his widow to cover the suffering and the pain.

    "And second, abolish this cruel heartless monster called Atos, get rid of it."
  • 6 State opening interuption
    One of Parliament's most amusing customs is the interjection levied by Skinner every year during the State Opening of Parliament. 

    In 2013 the backbencher followed Black Rod's address to MPs with a reference to the public postal force sell-off.

    "Royal Mail for sale; Queen's head privatised," he said to laughs from MPs.
  • 7 Tackling Thatcher on the poll tax
    A younger Dennis Skinner once jousted with then-PM Margaret Thatcher over the cost of running Downing Street. 

    He used an increase in public money spent on the Prime Minister's residence to levy criticism at the Conservative leader for her introduction of the poll tax. 

    The MP said: "Is the Prime Minister aware that in 1979 the cost to the taxpayer of running Downing Street was £1.25 million? 

    "Will she also confirm that 10 years later that cost had soared by more than 400% in those ten years, which is a bigger percentage than any local authority in Britain?" 

    He quipped, referencing Thatcher's famous erection of the gates outside Downing Street: "And that's not including the cost for the gates."

    He then moved to compare Thatcher to the wife of the then ruling Communist Romanian dictator, saying: "Doesn't that mean that the fortress of Madame Caecescu is a suitable case for poll taxing?"
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