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Head-butt MP quits Labour Party

Disgraced MP Eric Joyce has tendered his resignation as a member of the Labour Party as he apologised to colleagues for a bar brawl in Parliament.

Mr Joyce told the House of Commons he "had a number of personal issues to address", adding that his behaviour in the Strangers' Bar on February 22 had "fallen egregiously below what is required" by an MP.

Last week, the MP walked away from court with a fine and pub banning order after headbutting Tory rivals Stuart Andrew and Ben Maney in a drunken frenzy.

Flanked in the Commons by Dan Jarvis, another former Army major-turned-MP, Mr Joyce said: "Members will be aware of events in the Strangers' Bar on February 22 during which the standard of my conduct fell egregiously below what is required by a member of this House, or indeed anyone, anywhere. I am grateful for this opportunity to apologise without reservation to the House."

He added: "Clearly I have a number of personal issues to address, and you can be assured that this will take place. I would also like to inform the House that I have today tendered my resignation as a member of the Labour Party to the party leader."

Mr Joyce said he would especially like to apologise to Mr Andrew and fellow Tory Andrew Percy, who he abused during the brawl. Labour whip Phil Wilson, Tory MPs Jackie Doyle-Price and Alec Shelbrooke, and Conservative councillors Luke MacKenzie and Mr Maney also received apologies.

Last week, Joyce, who accepted he was "hammered" on red wine during the brawl, launched into a frenzied attack after shouting that the bar "was full of f****** Tories". The former soldier, who admitted four counts of common assault at Westminster Magistrates' Court, admitted outside court he was lucky to avoid prison.

Joyce, who earns £65,000 a year, was fined £3,000 by chief magistrate Howard Riddle and ordered to pay £1,400 to victims after he entered early guilty pleas. He was also given a 12-month community order - banning him from entering pubs and licensed premises for three months - and imposed with a curfew order from Friday to Sunday.

Mr Joyce said later he would not resign as an MP and would continue to serve the Falkirk constituency until the next election. He said in an interview on the Scotland Tonight programme: "I was elected for a full term and that is exactly what I will serve.

"I don`t deny for a second how significant it is that I have resigned from the Labour Party and I earnestly hope that my successor will be another Labour MP, but the fact is I was elected to serve for a full term."


From Belfast Telegraph