Labour's 'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner loses seat to Conservatives after 49 years

Labour veteran Dennis Skinner has lost his seat to the Conservatives after almost half a century in last night’s Tory landslide.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 10:29 am
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 3:38 pm
Dennis Skinner

The 87-year-old was dealt a devastating blow after 49 years at Westminster as his 5,288 majority was wiped out by the national Tory surge.

Mr Skinner was not at the count and had not actively campaigned in the election due to ill-health.

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New Conservative MP Mark Fletcher paid tribute to Mr Skinner in his victory speech, describing him as ‘a wonderful constituency MP’ who had ‘inspired millions of people’.

"I'm very sad he can't be here because I haven't found a street in this constituency where Dennis hasn't helped somebody," Mr Fletcher said when the results were announced.

Mr Skinner saw his vote share drop 16 percentage points as the Conservatives and the Brexit Party picked up huge gains in a 11.4 per cent swing to the Tories.

It means Mark Fletcher has become the first Conservative MP, and only Bolsover's third member of parliament since the seat was created in the 1950s.

During his five decades in Parliament, Mr Skinner earned a reputation for his straight-talking style and baiting of the Conservative’s front bench.

In recent years he regularly interrupted the State Opening of Parliament with a topical heckle.

He was once kicked out of the chamber after refusing to apologise for branding David Cameron 'dodgy Dave'.

Mr Skinner, who became the oldest MP to ever lose their seat, was poised to take over from former Chancellor Ken Clarke as Father of the House - the title bestowed upon the Commons' longest-serving MP.

Elsewhere in Derbyshire, Labour's Ruth George lost her High Peak seat to Conservative Robert Largan.

Mid Derbyshire, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, Amber Valley and North East Derbyshire were all held by the Conservatives, while Labour’s Toby Perkins retained Chesterfield.

Full Bolsover results below:

CON: 47.4% (+6.8)

LAB: 35.9% (-16.0)

BREX: 9.0% (+9.0)

LDEM: 3.8% (+0.9)

GRN: 1.7% (+1.7)

Swing: Lab to Con (+11.4)

Turnout: 61.1%