Dennis Skinner calls SNP MP 'a piece of sh*t' in angry Commons clash

Posted On: 
11th December 2018

Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner called an SNP MP "a piece of sh*t" after he criticised Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner sits stony-faced as the SNP's Stewart McDonald raises a point of order.

The Bolsover MP hurled the term at Stewart McDonald during a debate on Theresa May's decision to cancel a vote on her Brexit deal.

Mr McDonald, the MP for Glasgow South, complained about Mr Skinner's behaviour in a point of order.

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But Commons Speaker John Bercow opted to stay out of the row, saying he held the Labour MP in the “highest esteem” while reminding all MPs to conduct themselves “agreeably”.

The flare-up came when Mr McDonald urged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “answer the question” during the debate.

The SNP MP told the Speaker: “It then prompted the honourable gentleman from Bolsover to turn around to me and call me a piece of sh*t. Mr Speaker, he then on went to defend that, telling a journalist that he was just ‘putting me in my place’.”

He added: “Now, as you know, Mr Speaker, I’ve no desire to raise this formally with you... I’d hoped to deal with it informally as you’d suggested Mr Speaker.

"But given he shows no sign of having any regret about it, can you just reaffirm that it’s wrong and can you reaffirm that members on all sides should be able to go about this place without being at the tail end of that kind of abuse?”

But Mr Bercow said that while was not “disputing the veracity” of Mr McDonald’s account, he had not seen the alleged bust-up and so could not criticise the Labour veteran.

He said: “Moderation and good humour are, at this places’ best, defining features of parliamentary combat. We should be able to disagree with each other, agreeable or reasonable agreeably. I do not favour anybody being abused.

“But I hope the honourable gentleman will understand if I say I have a very high regard for him, but I’ve known [Mr Skinner]... for 21 years and I hold the honourable member for Bolsover in the highest esteem.

“And I’m not going to stand at this chair and criticise a member for conduct that I didn’t witness.

“But I think I’ve made the overall point. And I think it would be best if I leave it there and I appreciate him raising his concern if that’s what he felt he had to do. Can we leave it there for today?”

Responding to the row, Mr Skinner told the Press Association: "He attacks Jeremy Corbyn every time he stands up and I’ve told him before he is part of the opposition and he should concentrate on attacking the real enemy. I just put them in their place."


In a separate clash between Labour and the SNP, John McDonnell dismissed calls by Nicola Sturgeon for his party to table a motion of no confidence in the Government.

He said: "We'll put one down when we can win it. The Prime Minister's going off to see what she can get in terms of renegotiations or whatever and we'll see what she brings back.

"The SNP have got their own motivation, which is to try and avoid a general election, I think. Who can delve into the mind of Nicola Sturgeon, but my view is that they want to lose a vote of no confidence and then avoid a general election because they know we're breathing down their necks in Scotland, we'll take seats off them in so many marginals."

He added: "They're terrified of a general election. They're sitting on a large number of marginal seats at the moment and we'll take them."