Labour MP accuses Theresa May of ‘bribery’ over Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:36 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 07 February 2019

Dennis Skinner claims Theresa May is offering

Dennis Skinner claims Theresa May is offering "bribes" to Labour MPs in return for Brexit votes. Photograph: Parliament TV.

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A Labour MP was rebuked in the House of Commons for accusing the prime minister of trying to bribe MPs to vote for her Brexit plan.

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Brexiteer Labour MP Dennis Skinner was rounded on by the deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle for making the remarks.

The Bolsover MP said Lindsay Hoyle “shouldn’t be in the job” if he wasn’t going to let him use the word to describe the alleged offers of investment for individual constituencies in return for Labour MPs voting to back Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Skinner intervened during a speech by shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne in a debate on the finance settlement for local government.

He said: “This ever-diminishing has now been subject to the prime minister offering bribes to people who are going to...”

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After the Tory front-bench protested, Hoyle stood up to interrupt Skinner, who pointed at him and said: “This is part of the system!”

The deputy speaker said: “Mr Skinner, just a second, we can’t use bribes.”

But the 86-year-old, who has been an MP since 1970, continued in the same vein, saying: “This money will come out of local government, make no mistake about it, even though it’s a bribe.

“And that’s why we on this bench are not going to take it, we’re not going to sully the amount of money going to local authorities.”

Hoyle stepped in again to admonish Skinner, but he shouted back: “If you don’t understand then you shouldn’t be in the job!”

The deputy speaker said: “Well I’m sorry we get to that level, I did say, we can’t use bribes because I don’t believe members have been.”

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