The Lady Usher of the Black Rod, Sarah Clarke, was in for a rude awakening after becoming the target of veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner's cheeky one-liners during the Queen's Speech on Monday.
— Charlie Proctor (@MonarchyUK) October 14, 2019
Mr Skinner, known by Brits as the "Beast of Bolsover" for his sharp tongue, muttered out "I'm not going" in response to Black Rod's request, causing Parliament to break out in a bipartisan fit of laughter.
Mr Skinner's comments have made him a household name across the UK, namely at the State Opening of Parliament, where in 2017 he heckled the previous Black Rod, Lieutenant-General David Leakey, by ordering Commons to "get your skates on" as the Queen was set to attend the races at Ascot, causing even the stern authority to control his chuckles.
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) June 21, 2017
Skinner said at the time: "You better get your skates on, the first race is half past two.
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) October 14, 2019
— ℝ𝕒𝕔𝕙𝕖𝕝 🌹 (@icklepickle) October 14, 2019
In recent years, Skinner has shouted bemusing quips at the Black Rod, most notably jeering "Hands off the BBC" before MPs were summoned for the Queen's Speech in 2016. He also shouted "Royal Mail for sale. Queen's head privatised" in 2013 following news that Britain's iconic postal service would come under shareholder control.