Bloomberg News

Parliamentarian Banned From Bars After U.K. Colleagues Assaulted

March 09, 2012

Eric Joyce, a member of Britian’s lower House of Parliament, has been banned from entering bars for three months after drunkenly assaulting four people in the House of Commons last month.

Joyce was suspended by the U.K. opposition Labour Party the day after the Feb. 22 incident. The former army officer today admitted attacking colleagues including the Conservative Stuart Andrew and Labour’s Phillip Wilson in Parliament’s Strangers’ Bar.

Prosecutor Zoe Martin told magistrates Joyce had said to police, “You can’t touch me, I’m an MP,” a reference to his status as a member of Parliament, according to the British Broadcasting Corp. After the hearing today, at which he was fined 3,000 pounds ($4,700) and ordered to pay 1,400 pounds to victims, Joyce told reporters he wouldn’t resign from Parliament. He previously said he won’t be a candidate at the next general election.

He said he wanted to apologize to “all the other people that were involved and clearly that’s a long list and a significant litany of sins on the evening. I am aware that I’ve been fortunate to avoid jail for something that was a very serious offense or series of offenses.”

Joyce, 51, a former army major, has represented the Scottish district of Falkirk since 2000 and served as a parliamentary aide to ministers in the administrations of both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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