‘Gordon Brown and I were original Northern Powerhouse - Dennis Skinner

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
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Dennis Skinner has claimed he and Gordon Brown were the original northern powerhouse - and then claimed a further Tory slogan by shouting Labour did fix the roof while the sun was shining in noisy Commons exchanges.

The Beast of Bolsover condemned what he claimed was Tory “claptrap” for the the East Midlands and the North during Commons questions on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

But the Labour veteran was rebuffed by minister Anna Soubry.

Mr Skinner said: “I’ve listened carefully to the last half an hour to find out exactly what the Tory government is trying to do for places in the East Midlands - like Bolsover that is very close to Lincolnshire.

“In the period the Labour government was in power, both myself and Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the exchequer were the northern powerhouse. I asked him for £40 million to flatten the pit tips at Markham Vale, and he gave it me.

“I asked for some more money for an interchange straight off the M1 into Markham pit yard and I got that as well.

“We were actually fixing the roof while the sun was shining - we don’t want none of this claptrap about Tory northern powerhouse.”

Ms Soubry joked: “I thought we were about to call for a division during that so-called question.”

She added: “Could I remind you what your real record is? The real record is one of the deepest, longest recessions in the history of our country.

“The real record is bringing this nation to the verge of bankruptcy.

“And instead of talking down the East Midlands - and I am an East Midlands person through and through - you should be talking it up, and rightly so.

“From my experience we will see the creation of a Midlands engine that will give us the long term growth and the jobs in the future that your party failed to deliver.”