PMQs proved a more lively affair than usual thanks to the Beast of Bolsover. Dennis Skinner attempted to ask a question on NHS funding but John Bercow managed to distract from the message by congratulating the veteran Labour MP on his upcoming birthday.
The MP for Bolsover will turn 86 on Sunday – not that he’ll be celebrating. In response to the Speaker, Skinner said he had no plans to mark his birthday:
‘Well, I don’t know about that. I don’t celebrate things like that. I don’t think you should celebrate age.’
Perhaps there’s another reason, however, that Skinner doesn’t wish for a song and dance to be made over his birthday. When the Labour MP first entered Parliament, he declared that all MPs should retire by the time they are 65 ‘so as not to take another man’s job’.
Another year, another broken promise…