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Queen’s Speech: Dennis Skinner jokes 'get your skates on' to Black Rod

'The first race is at half past two'

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 21 June 2017 11:37 BST
Queen’s Speech: Dennis Skinner jokes 'get your skates on' to Black Rod

Dennis Skinner delivered another traditional heckle as Black Rod summoned MPs to the Queen's speech, this time making a Royal Ascot quip.

"Get your skates on. The first race is at half past two," the so-called Beast of Bolsover joked.

The Queen's speech, which had been due to take place on Monday, was rescheduled, meaning she was forced to miss a morning of the races, which is one of her favourite events of the year.

She will instead attend Royal Ascot in the afternoon, after delivering her speech.

Laughter filled the House of Commons in response to the veteran Labour MP's shout, as Black Rod, Lieutenant General David Leakey, tried to keep a straight face.

Mr Skinner, an 85-year-old republican, is renowned for shouting heckles at Black Rod as in protest.

Towards the end of Margaret Thatcher's time as Prime Minister, he shouted: “It tolls for thee, Maggie.”

He also once told Black Rod to tell the Queen "to pay her taxes".

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