Eric Joyce charged with Commons 'assault'

 

Labour MP Eric Joyce has been charged with assault following a late night fracas at a House of Commons bar in which a Tory rival was allegedly head-butted.

The former soldier, 51, was arrested on Wednesday amid claims Conservative Stuart Andrew had been attacked shortly before closing in the Strangers Bar, Parliament's pub for MPs.

Joyce, who has been suspended from the Labour party in the wake of the incident, was released on police bail last night after spending around 24 hours in custody.

Scotland Yard later confirmed the politician had been charged with three counts of common assault and will appear on bail at West London Magistrates' Court next month.

Joyce, the MP for Falkirk, was seen being driven away from the rear of Belgravia Police Station in central London in the back of a dark hatchback car at around 11.20pm following his release.

He was wearing a white shirt and dark suit and appeared pale and unshaven.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Eric Joyce, aged 51, an MP of Union Street, Bo'ness, West Lothian has been charged with three counts of common assault following an incident within the House of Commons on Wednesday, 22 February.

"He will appear on bail at West London Magistrates' Court on 7 March."

Police said they were called to a disturbance at the Palace of Westminster at around 10.50pm on Wednesday before making the arrest.

Mr Andrew, MP for Pudsey, had no visible cuts or bruises yesterday and responded to concerns about his welfare on Twitter by writing: "I'm ok."

Labour suspended Joyce from the party pending the results of the police investigation, branding the incident "extremely serious", though he remains an MP.

Following his arrest a Labour Party spokesman said: "This is an extremely serious incident. We have suspended Eric Joyce pending the results of the police investigation."

Speculation about the incident has been rife in Westminster but Commons Speaker John Bercow yesterday thwarted any attempt to raise the matter in the chamber by issuing a stern warning at the start of proceedings.

He told MPs: "I take this matter very seriously, as do the House authorities. I would ask that no further reference should be made to these reports in the Chamber."

Joyce, MP for Falkirk since December 2000, served in the Army Education Corps before pursuing a career in politics.

Tory backbencher Andrew Percy, one of those believed to have been caught up in the fracas, tweeted this morning that he felt "sorry" for Joyce.

Insisting he was "fine" after the incident, the Brigg and Goole MP added: "Tbh, I sort of feel sorry for him. People in a good place don't act like that. That's all I'll tweet on it!"

PA

Voices
A Siberian Tiger
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
scienceBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + ents
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried