Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

14 June 1978: 'Savaged by a dead sheep'


House of Commons

Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey was forced to defend his record in office after shadow chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe tabled a motion which sought to reduce the chancellor's salary by half.

In a memorable jibe, Mr Healey likened his Conservative counterpart's rhetorical onslaught to "being savaged by a dead sheep".

The government, declaring that the motion was about MPs' confidence in all ministers and not just the chancellor, went on to win the vote by a slim majority of five votes.

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