Labour suspends peer over hotel fracas

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Indy Politics

Labour suspended one of its peers last night after he was charged by police over an incident at a five-star hotel following a gala dinner.

Labour suspended one of its peers last night after he was charged by police over an incident at a five-star hotel following a gala dinner.

The suspension means Lord Watson of Invergowrie cannot take the Labour whip in the House of Lords. Nor can he take the Labour whip in the Scottish Parliament, where he sits as Labour backbench MSP Mike Watson. A party spokesman said: "Mike Watson has been suspended from the Labour Party pending the outcome of the current legal process."

Lord Watson was charged over an alleged incident at an Edinburgh hotel after the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards, in the early hours of Friday. The inquiry is believed to have been into claims that a curtain was set on fire.

Lothian and Borders Police said: "A 55-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged incident at the Prestonfield House hotel in the early hours of Friday November 12.

"A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal."

Lord Watson, a former Scottish tourist, culture and sport minister, was among hundreds of guest at the awards dinner.

As plain Mike Watson, he was Labour MP for Glasgow Central until that seat disappeared in boundary changes, and he lost a battle to become Labour candidate for another seat in the 1997 general election.

Mr Watson was later made a life peer, and returned to elected politics in 1999 when he became MSP for Glasgow Cathcart. He launched his own Bill, which was ultimately successful, to outlaw hunting with dogs in Scotland.

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