Useful Notes / Dennis Skinner

"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."

Dennis Skinner is a famously left wing British Labour MP, and has been since 1970. Nicknamed the "Beast of Bolsover" for his acerbic style (see the page quote) and the name of his constituency. He was born as the third of nine children in a mining town, and he was a miner himself before he became an MP. He's often controversial, and has been thrown out of the House of Commons a number of times for breaches of order (including the page quote, and once when he accused Margaret Thatcher of being prepared to bribe judges). He's also famously anti-Monarchy, and usually makes a snarky comment to the Queen's messenger during the state opening of parliament.

Ironically given his frequent hammerings of Tory MPs caught having affairs, he himself was caught having an affair during the "dirty Nineties" period where British politics lurched from one sex scandal to another every other week. This led some to call him "the Beat of Legover."

In 2017 a documentary film, Nature Of The Beast, is scheduled to be released detailing his life with interviews from his brothers.