Man arrested over alleged assault on MP

A man was arrested by police yesterday after a clash with a senior Labour MP in Westminster. Sir Stuart Bell, the MP for Middlesbrough, was allegedly punched during the disturbance in Portcullis House, the MPs' office block next to the Commons.

Police officers detained the man, who is understood to be a member of Sir Stuart's staff, and took him for questioning in Charing Cross police station. He was later released on bail.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "A man aged 33 was arrested in the Palace of Westminster following an altercation with an MP.

"He was taken into custody in connection with an allegation of assault causing actual bodily harm. He was subsequently bailed to return later this month pending further inquiries."

Sir Stuart, a barrister, has been in the Commons for 21 years. A miner's son, he served as a Labour frontbencher under Neil Kinnock and has for the last seven years represented the Church of England Commissioners in the Commons.

He has also built a reputation as a novelist.

Sir Stuart, 66, would only say yesterday: "I have nothing to say on the matter."

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