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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Dennis Skinner

Date of birth

11 February 1932

Political profile

In the years since his election in 1970, Dennis Skinner, "the beast of Bolsover", has become one of the best known parliamentarians in the country despite never holding any sort of office or frontbench position.

He is one of the Commons most assiduous attendees, present for questions almost every day and always sitting in the same spot.

He is a consistent questioner and the single most rumbustious intervener in the House, forever making wittily aggressive interjections.

He is an uncompromising class warrior and can be outrageously rude - he has been ejected by the Speaker on many occasions.

A former miner, he is on the left of the party and has refused ever to mellow or compromise his opinions.

He has sat for many years on the party's NEC, and with Tony Benn, frustrated Neil Kinnock's efforts to tackle Militant.

He is opposed to the European Union, as an institutionalisation of capitalist principle and is a committed republican.

He often rebels against the Blair government, but is not as persistent a critic of it as might be expected, mainly because his hatred of the Conservatives is greater than his disdain for New Labour.

Contact

01246 863429

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