Belfast Telegraph

Driving ban MP resigns as shadow Northern Ireland minister

By Catherine Lynagh

Labour MP Eric Joyce has resigned as a shadow Northern Ireland minister after being banned from driving.

Mr Joyce lost his licence for a year and was fined £400 after he admitted failing to provide a breath test.

The MP for Falkirk pleaded guilty to the charge at the town’s sheriff court yesterday after spending the night in police cells.

The 50-year-old was arrested near Grangemouth oil refinery late on Thursday night.

Kirsty Anderson, prosecuting, said guards on duty at the Ineos plant called police after Joyce approached the gatehouse about 11.15pm on Thursday.

Anderson said moments before, one of the guards had heard “what sounded like heavy metal rubbing very loudly”.

She then saw a silver Rover “slowly moving along the road”.

Anderson added: “The security officer was of the opinion that he was either confused, or under the influence of alcohol, and the police were contacted.”

When police arrived, Joyce was arrested. He told police he was tired, had been “up the previous night”, and had just flown up from London. He refused to give a breath sample.

Joyce was charged with failing to give a sample without reasonable excuse, and held overnight before appearing in court yesterday. Duty solicitor Willie McIntyre said: ”He apologises to all concerned.”

The sheriff banned Joyce from driving for a year and fined him £400, reduced from £600 in view of his immediate guilty plea.

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