Mar 15 2013
Falkirk MP Eric Joyce has been banned from buying or being served alcohol anywhere in the Palace of Westminster, after he was arrested following an alleged late-night brawl in a House of Commons bar.
Mr Joyce, 52, remains in custody answering police questions about the incident. He was previously fined by a court and given a three-month ban on entering pubs and bars, following an incident in a Commons bar last February, when he punched and head-butted fellow MPs.
Serjeant at Arms Lawrence Ward - who is responsible for security and keeping order in the Commons - confirmed that the Independent MP was arrested after a disturbance and would be subject to an indefinite alcohol ban in parliamentary bars.
Asked about the incident during a press conference in Brussels, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This is going to have to be properly looked at and I'm sure that the authorities both inside and outside of the House are more than capable of doing that."
Later, a House of Commons spokesman said: "The Serjeant at Arms has confirmed that yesterday evening the Member for Falkirk was detained following a disturbance on the Parliamentary Estate.
"The House authorities take their responsibility for the welfare of those who work in and visit the Commons estate very seriously. The authorities promote responsible alcohol use and have policies in place to encourage staff and Members to consume alcohol accordingly. 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."
It is understood that Mr Joyce was involved in an altercation at the Commons Sports and Social Club bar after apparently being told he could not take a glass with him when he went to a smoking area outside. Witness Tony Grew, a journalist from the PoliticsHome website, told ITV it happened during a karaoke night in the bar, which was packed with about 150 people. He said Mr Joyce entered the room "obviously agitated" and pushed his way forward to the bar.
When he followed him out of the bar he saw Mr Joyce on the ground "wrestling with two police officers".
"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," Mr Grew. 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".