MP banned from buying alcohol15th March, 2013 by Andy Young
Falkirk MP Eric Joyce has been banned from buying or being served alcohol anywhere in the Palace of Westminster, after he was allegedly involved in a late-night brawl in the House of Commons bar on Thursday night.
Joyce was arrested following the incident and remained in police custody into Friday.
The independent MP resigned from the Labour Party after headbutting Conservative MPs Stuart Andrew and Ben Maney in a previous incident in a Commons bar last February. Joyce was fined by a court and given a three-month ban on entering pubs and bars following that incident.
The Press Association reported that a House of Commons spokesman said today: “Alcohol-related incidents on the Estate are rare, and the serious incident last night was counter to the policies in place.
“Given the Member for Falkirk has previously been found guilty of an alcohol-related incident on the Parliamentary Estate, the Speakers and House authorities have agreed that with immediate effect the Member for Falkirk will be prohibited from purchasing and being served alcoholic beverages from all Parliamentary facilities. This ban will be indefinite subject to the outcome of police investigations.”
Witness Tony Grew, a journalist from the PoliticsHome website, told ITV the incident happened during a karaoke night in the Commons Sports and Social Club bar, which was packed with about 150 people. After apparently being told that he could not take a glass with him to the smoking area outside, Mr Joyce re-entered the room and was “obviously agitated”.
Mr Grew said that he later followed Joyce out of the bar and saw him on the ground “wrestling with two police officers”.
Grew added: “He appeared to have one of the officers in an armlock, he put his arm around the officer’s neck, and the other police officer was on top of him.”
He said that after Mr Joyce was handcuffed he saw him “on a bench, being held down by three or four police officers – he was still struggling”.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman last night told the Press Association: “Police were called shortly before 10.30pm this evening to reports of a disturbance at a bar within the House of Commons.
“Officers attended and a man aged in his 50s was arrested in connection with this incident.”