Falkirk MP Eric Joyce to face trial over ‘threatening or abusive behaviour’ at airport

Former Labour politician – who resigned the party whip last year and is due to stand down in 2015 – pleads not guilty to three charges

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The Independent Online

The outgoing Falkirk MP Eric Joyce is set to stand trial after he denied using threatening or abusive behaviour in an alleged argument over a phone lost at an airport.

The 52-year-old former Army major did not attend Edinburgh Sheriff Court in person today, but entered pleas of not guilty to three charges all relating to events at Edinburgh Airport on 19 May.

The politician is alleged to have repeatedly shouted, sworn and made offensive comments when he believed he had left his phone on a plane but could not say which flight he had come in on.

He allegedly struggled violently and tried to kick officers who attended the scene and tried to take him to the city’s St Leonard’s police station.

He also faces a third charge of threatening or abusive behaviour when he was said to have uttered racist remarks and shouted and swore during the episode both at the airport and the police station.

In his letter, Mr Joyce denied all the charges, and he has now been ordered to appear in person at a hearing on 5 March next year, before a trial date set for 31 March.