Skinner attacks Tory MP over cocaine
LONDON (Reuters) - Veteran left-wing politician Dennis Skinner was thrown out of Parliament on Thursday after accusing opposition Treasury spokesman George Osborne of taking cocaine.
In a session of questions on the economy, Skinner responded to an attack from Conservative Osborne, 34, a key ally of the party's new leader David Cameron, on the government's decision to cut its growth forecasts.
"In the 1970s and in a lot of the 1980s we would have thanked our lucky stars in the coalfield areas to have got growth of 1.75 percent," said Skinner.
"The only thing that was growing then were the lines of coke in front of boy George and the rest of the Tories (Conservatives)," said Skinner, in an unusually blunt attack.
Skinner, 73, a frequent critic of Prime Minister Tony Blair, is a no-nonsense traditional Labour lawmaker who represents a former mining area in the north Midlands.
The Osborne drugs remark comes two days after Cameron became leader of the Conservative party. He has shaken off questions over possible drug use that overshadowed the early stages of his campaign.
Cameron has repeatedly declined to say whether he used hard drugs before he was elected a member of parliament.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, whose job it is to keep order in the oak-panelled chamber, ordered Skinner to withdraw the statement. He ejected Skinner when the MP refused.
I have got to give Mr. Skinner credit where credit is due!