Video: Labour MP arrested after alleged headbutt
Published 24/02/2012 | 05:00
ERIC Joyce, a Labour MP, was suspended by his party as police investigated an incident in which he is alleged to have headbutted a Conservative MP during a late-night fracas in a House of Commons bar.
The 51-year-old MP for Falkirk spent the night at Belgravia police station, where he was questioned yesterday after Stuart Andrew, Tory MP for Pudsey, told police he wanted to press charges for assault.
"There was a bloodbath," one senior Conservative reported.
Inevitably, there were slightly differing accounts about what happened in the Stranger's Bar at about 10.50pm on Wednesday. The common factor was that Mr Joyce "exploded", apparently without reason.
One source said: "He just flipped. It was not really a brawl or a fight."
Witnesses heard Mr Joyce shout: "There are too many f***ing Tories in here." Then Mr Andrew was allegedly headbutted by the Falkirk MP. One colleague described him as "an innocent victim" who happened to be sitting in "the wrong place at the wrong time".
Police were called and it took five security officers to bring the incident to an end. Mr Joyce was handcuffed and was reportedly still struggling as he was led away.
Yesterday, bar staff on duty at the time were asked to attend the police station for questioning, while police officers interviewed some MPs. John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, told MPs: "I have been informed that the honourable member for Falkirk has been detained in police custody. The matter is being investigated. I take this matter very seriously, as do the House authorities."
Scotland Yard confirmed it was still questioning a man over the alleged assault. A spokesman said: "The man remains in custody at a central London police station."
The Labour Party said: "This is an extremely serious incident. We have suspended Eric Joyce pending the results of the police investigation." (© Independent News Service)