EXCLUSIVE: Dennis Skinner speaks out after Thatcher’s death

Dennis Skinner.
Dennis Skinner.

Firebrand Labour MP Dennis Skinner has slammed David Cameron’s decision to recall Parliament following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Former miner Mr Skinner, who has represented Bolsover since 1970, refused to attend the House of Commons on Wednesday when MPs gathered to pay tribute to the controversial ex-Conservative Prime Minister.

Mr Skinner, 81, who clashed with Baroness Thatcher on numerous occasions and was one of her fiercist critics, told the Derbyshire Times: “Why was Parliament recalled?

“She shouldn’t have received special treatment.

“I’ve got better things to do than watch people talk about her.”

Britain’s first and only female political leader died peacefully aged 87 following a stroke on Monday.

A controversial politician who inspired passion among both her critics and supporters, Baroness Thatcher will perhaps best be remembered for her Government’s closure of mines which sparked bitter, long-running strikes in the mid-1980s.

Mr Skinner said: “In coal mining communities you can see evidence of Thatcher’s legacy every day – massive unemployment, families still not speaking to each other.

“In all my years as an MP I don’t think I’ve ever had a discussion with anyone about the values of Margaret Thatcher.”

Baroness Thatcher’s partially state-funded funeral will take place in London next Wednesday.

Asked if he would be watching the televised event, Mr Skinner said: “What sort of a question is that?”

On the Derbyshire Times Facebook page, Shonagh Staten said: “I disagree strongly with a state funeral for Baroness Thatcher.”

Samantha Elwell added: “She’s still getting money out of us even now she’s dead! I think it is disgusting!”

Geoff Hopwood said: “Like it or not she was Prime Minister so it was always going to be a bit more than a normal funeral.”

Earlier this week, Nigel Mills, Conservative MP for the Amber Valley, said: “Baroness Thatcher was a strong leader who turned the country around following the troubles of the 1970s.

“She was one of the best Prime Ministers we’ve ever had.”

David Cameron called her a “great Briton” and the Queen spoke of her sadness at the death.

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