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Dennis Skinner: Song about ex-MP tops Amazon download charts

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionDennis Skinner was an ever-present in British politics for the best part of five decades

A song about a former Labour MP has been topping the Amazon download charts ahead of Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and Bruce Springsteen.

Dennis Skinner, the so-called Beast of Bolsover, lost the seat he had held since 1970, in December.

The track Tony Skinner's Lad, by musician Robb Johnson, is a tribute to the acerbic politician, who grew up in Derbyshire.

Mr Johnson said he had always "admired" the ex-MP and trade unionist.

By Friday evening the track remained at number one in the Amazon best sellers, ahead of Magic by Kylie Minogue and Ghosts by Bruce Springsteen.

It also reached number 37 on Apple's iTunes chart and 19 in the Official Singles Download Chart.

However, the fact that download sales account for only about 4.8% of the overall music market might explain why the song did not feature at all in the Official Singles Chart Top 100.

'Unparliamentary language'

The song is a mix of Mr Skinner's speeches and quips, and lyrics referring to his parents and upbringing in Derbyshire, before his arrival at parliament 50 years ago.

"We thought it would be lovely to get Dennis Skinner into the charts," Mr Johnson said.

"I suppose it's done so well because that's an indication of the great respect he is held in.

"On many levels I've admired him as a principled people's delegate to parliament. I've admired his politics and admired him even more that he enjoys singing."

image captionRobb Johnson said the success is down to Mr Skinner's own popularity

Mr Skinner underwent hip surgery ahead of the overnight count in his Derbyshire constituency, in December.

Film maker Daniel Draper who made Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast, a 2017 documentary about the life and times of the ex-MP, produced the track's video.

"It's a catchy little ditty," he said.

"I speak to [Skinner's] partner Lois quiet regularly. He seems to be doing well.

"The family have all been in touch about the song and its video. I know Dennis has seen it and Lois said he really likes it."

Mr Skinner is known for his support for the miners throughout the 1984-85 strike and fighting for their pension rights.

He was also suspended from the House of Commons numerous times for what was deemed "unparliamentary language".

image copyrightPA Media
image captionDennis Skinner (middle) with Michael Foot (left) and Tony Benn (right) in Blackpool, in 1980

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Related Topics

  • Dennis Skinner
  • Bolsover

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