General

By a Newsnet reporter
 
Former Labour MP Eric Joyce has said he has no intention of standing down as the MP for Falkirk despite being convicted on four counts of assault at Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London.
 
The MP, who was elected as the Labour candidate to the seat in 2010, entered guilty pleas to three charges of common assault and one of assault by beating.

Joyce, who was suspended by the Labour party shortly after being arrested, avoided prison and was ordered to pay a fine of £3000, together with £1400 compensation to his victims. 

The MP was given a twelve month community service order and has been barred from entering pubs for three months.  He has also had a curfew imposed at the weekends.

The court heard how Joyce had been drinking in Strangers Bar in the House of Commons when he attacked MP Stuart Andrew, before lashing out at political aides Luke Mackenzie and Ben Maney, who was head-butted.   The Labour MP then assaulted his own party Whip Phillip Wilson.

According to witnesses there was a “happy and friendly” atmosphere in the bar before Joyce “flipped” on February 22.

Prosecutor Ms Martin said: “Mr Joyce started to sing very loudly …

“That was noticed by several people in the bar.  Nobody seemed bothered by it.”

Joyce then approached Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke, saying: “Don’t look at any of my guests like that again.”

MP Andrew Percy walked past and asked Joyce to move.  Joyce replied: “No, you f****** can’t”, Ms Martin said.

Witnesses said Joyce then shouted: “There are too many Tories in this bar” and later: “The bar was full of f****** Tories.”

Mr Andrews protested, saying: “You can’t behave in that way” and it was just after this that Joyce launched his attacks, punching and head-butting his victims.

According to reports, it took five police officers to restrain the Labour MP who was heard to shout “You can’t touch me, I’m an MP”.

Speaking outside the courtroom after the sentence, the controversial MP acknowledged that he had been fortunate not to have received a custodial sentence and admitted to having a tendency towards being “aggressive physically”.

Joyce said he was ashamed of what he had done and admitted he had let many people down.  However when asked if he would now step down as an MP, the former Labour Shadow Minister insisted he would stay on until 2015.

Outside court, Joyce said: “Clearly it’s a matter of considerable personal shame.  I’ve been duly punished today,  I’ve been lucky to avoid prison, I’m very ashamed, of course.”

Joyce confirmed several times that he would not resign as an MP before the next election.

“It would be easy but I was elected in 2000 and I will continue serving,” he said.

Joyce’s refusal to resign will be seen as a snub to Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont who called for the Falkirk MP to step down following further allegations of an affair with a teenage schoolgirl.  Mr Joyce, who is still a member of the Labour party, is expected to be expelled once disciplinary proceedings are finalised.

Even if expelled from the party, Joyce would still be able to draw his £65,738 salary, plus expenses.

This is the second conviction in less than two years for the former Labour MP, who in 2010 when Labour’s shadow Minister for Northern Ireland was caught driving whilst thought to be under the influence of alcohol – Joyce resigned his shadow role after admitting to failing to provide a breath test, he was fined £400.

Under the Representation of the People Act 1981, MPs are disqualified from the House of Commons only if they are convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to 12 months or more in jail.


Comments  

 
#
Mark
2012-03-09 17:56

He will lose 3 year’s salary plus his expenses.
Why would he want to step down?
It is not as he is a socialist is it? Just a ned!
 
 
#
Legerwood
2012-03-09 18:03

And his pension? Index-linked?
 

 
#
border reiver
2012-03-09 18:06

Joyce shouted “i am an MP you cant touch me”. That is exactly the problem with Westminster once they are in they are virtualy untouchable. The people of Falkirk will now have to suffer this miserable excuse of an MP until the next election whereby he will no doubt continue to feather his nest at considerable cost to the taxpayer with total disregard to his constituents.
 
 
#
fynesider
2012-03-11 14:25

A very good example of the need for a recall system in this country.
 

 
#
tartanfever
2012-03-09 19:05

Curious end to the report on Reporting Scotland. It said that Joyce lives in rented premises in his constituency and has no assets to speak of. This came after they had mentioned that Joyce says he wants to continue to sit as an MP.

I wonder why this was mentioned by the BBC ?

I also wonder why the didn’t take this a little further and report the amount of expenses he has claimed over the years, and that he was the first MP to take that figure of the £1m barrier.

Are BBC Scotland doing a little favour for Labour in trying to tug the heartstrings of the good people of Falkirk in to showing him some leniency ?

Also what it quite repellent in describing this event as a ‘brawl’. It was not a brawl, it was an ‘unprovoked attack’.
 
 
#
nchanter
2012-03-11 10:42

Quoting tartanfever:

Curious end to the report on Reporting Scotland. It said that Joyce lives in rented premises in his constituency and has no assets to speak of. This came after they had mentioned that Joyce says he wants to continue to sit as an MP.

I wonder why this was mentioned by the BBC ?

I also wonder why the didn’t take this a little further and report the amount of expenses he has claimed over the years, and that he was the first MP to take that figure of the £1m barrier.

Are BBC Scotland doing a little favour for Labour in trying to tug the heartstrings of the good people of Falkirk in to showing him some leniency ?

Also what it quite repellent in describing this event as a ‘brawl’. It was not a brawl, it was an ‘unprovoked attack’.


What goes down as high spirits in the officers mess is gang warfare in ORs

 

 
#
J Wil
2012-03-09 19:08

From the people who were interviewed in his constituency, shown on the news tinight, they are not happy about him staying. He is also putting his constituents at a disadvantage if he has been dropped by his party.

Lamont was almost coerced into agreeing that he should resign when interviewed on Sunday, but it is to Labour’s advantage to have him there and avoid the by-election. Party before people once again.
 
 
#
mudfries
2012-03-09 19:23

If only he had just set fire to the curtains! he would have been given a short sentence then a seat in the House of Lords.
 
 
#
Louperdowg
2012-03-09 19:24

“It would be easy but I was elected in 2000 and I will continue self-serving,” he said.

There, that’s better.
 
 
#
rgi50
2012-03-09 19:32

Why is he not in jail now. I can’t understand why he is not behind bars.
 

 
#
Mark MacLachlan
2012-03-09 19:26

U Can’t Touch Eric Joyce…

scotlandsaysyes.blogspot.com/…/…
 
 
#
Robabody
2012-03-09 19:36

Was that one of you cheese ladies I saw there Mark?
 
 
#
Mark MacLachlan
2012-03-09 19:56

Distinctly possible Robabody
 
 
#
Fungus
2012-03-09 20:32

It’s why I have never read your blog Mark, can’t get past the cheese ladies.
 
 
#
Mark MacLachlan
2012-03-10 08:54

Fungus, think of your problem not as an affliction for life. There’s help out there for you. I might change the cheesy lady to Anne Widdicombe, that should get you reading…
 

 
#
bringiton
2012-03-09 19:33

I am certain that some behind the scenes dealing has been going on.
Labour do not want a by-election in Falkirk before the May council elections and probably prior to the referendum vote.
They will do anything to try and stop the head of steam that is building for independence and the SNP party.
 
 
#
D_A_N
2012-03-09 21:04

I think you’re right.. SNP aren’t too far behind in Falkirk so would certainly have a big chance of taking this seat.

I hadn’t even considered this.. Spot on analysis.
 

 
#
Astonished
2012-03-09 19:41

I am certain that this will be an above average sentence for four counts of common assault in England.

I am sure that the unprovoked headbutting of someone is always seen as anything but grievious bodily harm in England.

I am convinced that no charges were not mentioned (i.e. Attacking a police officer). As failing to mention all the charges would result in a lesser sentence.

This is clear and unequivocal evidence that there is NOT one law for us and another for the labour party.






If the BBC and lord patton are reading (as I believe they are): Any chance of a job ?
 
 
#
scottishwatersnotforsale
2012-03-09 19:49

As a constituent of Falkirk,perhaps if he had at least ‘looked’embarrassed by his behaviour (when being interviewed today),there may have been a bit less mutterring on my part !!
 
 
#
Hirta
2012-03-09 22:12

Ditto – makes me fume.

I certainly don’t want represented by a thug.

BTW, if this was an SNP MSP who did exact same, and alleged trysts with a teenage lass, this story would be BBC news headlining for DAYS.
 

 
#
Robabody
2012-03-09 19:51

Hold the fort Eric old chap – can’t go letting the voters have a say, might give these SNP bounders a boost. We’ll ignore you of course (on the surface) and have to chuck you out of the party – after a (suitable) period of consideration you understand? But never mind, the trough remains open to you – dig in old bean.

Irrespective of my irreverence above(aimed obviously at Johann and her party)I do hope, as one human to another, Eric Joyce seeks and gets help for whatever devils are tearing him apart.
 
 
#
Cp9fl
2012-03-09 19:51

Can the decent people of Falkirk not force some kind of no confidence vote to have this thug kicked out for good?
 
 
#
nchanter
2012-03-11 10:46

Quoting Cp9fl:

Can the decent people of Falkirk not force some kind of no confidence vote to have this thug kicked out for good?


The decent folk of Falkirk must be saying, “how did we vote for him” Good people of Falkirk you have another choice.

 
 
#
fynesider
2012-03-11 14:31

It’s called a “recall” system and is not available in the Westminster system or in the Holyrood system.

IT SHOULD BE!!
 

 
#
Woodside
2012-03-09 20:26

O/T SNP conference streamed live at www.voteSNP.com/SNPconf Can those of you on facebook share it with your contacts please. If the MSM wont give it full coverage we will do it ourselves.
 
 
#
Giles
2012-03-09 21:31

Quoting Woodside:

O/T SNP conference streamed live at www.voteSNP.com/SNPconf Can those of you on facebook share it with your contacts please. If the MSM wont give it full coverage we will do it ourselves.



SHARED ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE THANKS WOODSIDE

 

 
#
Fungus
2012-03-09 20:34

It’s that old Simon and Garfunkel song ‘We’d rather hae a nutter than Nat..so we wid, aye we wid, we surely wid’.
 
 
#
Louperdowg
2012-03-09 21:18

Does anyone have an idea what the sentence would be if a drunken jakey walked into Westminster and assaulted three MPs and a polis and caused a breach of the peace?
 
 
#
Arbroath1320
2012-03-09 21:20

Sorry Louper I don’t know what the sentence would be, but I’m pretty sure I know what it would not be!
 
 
#
alexmc8275
2012-03-09 21:48

To be honest for what he done, I would say it is a fair outcome, his only previous is the refusing a breath test, if it happened in a pub anywhere in the rest of the country , the offender would see that as a sore sentence.
 

 
#
Mac
2012-03-09 21:41

To quote Richard Baker, Scottish Labour, “This is the kind of soft touch approach to justice that we have become all too familiar with under the SNP.”
 
 
#
alexmc8275
2012-03-10 10:45

Salmond mind control over English courts in my opinion, the mans a menace to society lol.
 

 
#
govanite
2012-03-09 22:48

Now, I heard it on the BBC, but I expect more accuracy here.

‘The MP was given a twelve month community service order and has been barred from entering pubs for three months.’

Unless I missed it, we still have our own legal system, so he is not barred from any pub in Falkirk – well not by this judgement.
 
 
#
oldnat
2012-03-09 23:49

[Pedant alert!]

In England it’s a “community order” which may or may not (in Joyce’s case it doesn’t) include community service. It does, however, include him being placed under curfew in his London flat Friday to Sunday.

[End pedant alert]

Under the circumstances, however, Joyce might be somewhat foolish to enter a Falkirk pub at the moment!
 

 
#
Embra
2012-03-09 22:51

I thought pysical attacks on the police always merited a custodial sentence.
 
 
#
Jiggsbro
2012-03-10 00:12

He wasn’t charged with any physical attacks on the police.
 

 
#
govanite
2012-03-09 22:52

… and let me also say that however much he deserved to be punished, I don’t approve of Scots’ MPs being subject to English Law inside what is the UK parliament – but, he’s a unionist so tough luck, goes with the territory
 
 
#
brusque
2012-03-09 23:19

So Devine gets prison for getting caught stealing (getting caught I said) from the public purse.

And 4 counts of assault get you Community Service.

Something smells rotten here, I’ve no truck with Devine and the others, but it strikes me that there is no balance here.

Given that a by election would scare all the Unionist parties, maybe a concerted effort has been required here? just a thought.
 
 
#
Ben Power
2012-03-09 23:46

An SNP win in Falkirk would definitely be on the cards if Eric Joyce left. Now that could be embarrassing for unionists.
Judging by his antics though one would hope that he is stable enough to actually hold the position and that must be of concern to unionists.
He has not helped me much as my local member in a matter but I would at least wish him good health genuinely and gently suggest that perhaps carrying on as an MP is not the best choice all round for him personally, the stress of his situation now cannot be a good thing.
 
 
#
call me dave
2012-03-09 23:49

bbc.co.uk/…/…

Joyce, of Bo’ness, near Falkirk, was given a 12-month community order which included a curfew from Friday to Sunday.

As well as a £3,000 fine, he was ordered to pay £1,400 in compensation to his victims.

—————————————
The judge should have made him an offer he couldn’t refuse like:

“Stand down immediately or it’s a custodial sentence son!” “Deal or no deal”?

I said that he would stand down about 2 weeks ago, giving him the benefit of making the decent decision, but he is going to go on. It will not be easy for him to face his constituents and look them in the eye. Perhaps when he reflects properly it will become apparent that his position is too weak to maintain.

Oh! wait till I adjust my halo a bit. There. . best not to throw too many stones.
 
 
#
Holebender
2012-03-10 04:15

Look him in the eye? Would you? And risk a “what are you looking at” moment?
 

 
#
Kinghob
2012-03-09 23:50

I look at Tommy Sheridan who did more time for pissing off the News of the world and I say……………the punishment only fits the crime on occasion.

Going into what MWP’s or MSP’s or those who used to be elected officials doesn’t get rid of the hypocrisy of those in power or out of power who commit crime within the so called public eye.

The people who can vote on Eric Joyce deserve to get the chance before 2015 by any standard in a democracy!
 
 
#
bigbuachaille
2012-03-10 00:22

OT. Alex Neil has a novel plan to get the High Speed Rail link to Scotland: bbc.co.uk/…/…
Linking the rail construction work with laying pipes in order to export our water to the drought-stricken South.
 
 
#
roboftheburnawn
2012-03-10 00:41

Once again Bigb we are one step ahead of them – and as many before have said ” we have a more valuable asset than oil”. Toowee toostupid my a..e
 
 
#
Jiggsbro
2012-03-10 00:56

That’s the sort of innovative, blue-sky, “you could have had our water if you’d only been prepared to treat us like a valuable part of the UK”, thinking I’ve come to expect from the SNP.
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-10 01:49

BigB – this is a good point – joined up writing and a costed export from a Scottish fed water grid.
 
 
#
Fungus
2012-03-10 09:10

That’s sleekit Alex, excellent but sleekit 🙂
 

 
#
nchanter
2012-03-11 11:15

Quoting bigbuachaille:

OT. Alex Neil has a novel plan to get the High Speed Rail link to Scotland: bbc.co.uk/…/…
Linking the rail construction work with laying pipes in order to export our water to the drought-stricken South.


Clever boy is Mr Neil

 

 
#
admiral
2012-03-10 07:27

Scottish Labour does have a particularly bad record for criminality among its MPs. Foulkes, Devine, Watson and now Joyce.

Foulkes and Watson still sit in the HoL and are allowed to take the Labour whip (and screw the taxpayer for £300 a day plus expenses).

So it’s a bit hypocritical, is it not, for Labour to claim they want Joyce to resign, when they are happy for other convicted criminals to represent them?

Not to mention the other crooks who have “graced” the Labour Party from Stonehouse through to Bliar and Mandelson through to the other MPs convicted of expenses fraud.
 
 
#
Wave Machine
2012-03-10 08:49

What I find telling in this sorry affair is the focus that Joyce puts on “Tories” in the bar. It’s almost as if he sees himself as fighting some old class war from the 1970s. Actually, now I come to think about it, I’m probably quite near the mark. I strongly suspect that the driving force of many a Scottish Labour MP is an anti-Tory, them-and-us mentality. It probably explains Labour’s inability to think in constructive terms when it comes to the Independence debate.
Their world view is simplistic and couched in terms that a school age football supporter could identify with. “That’s my team, and you’re not in my team!” Then, “your not in my team so I’m going to get you!”

Sad!

With the advent of intelligent, grown up thinking from the SNP, the world has changed and Labour are still playing kiddies football in the street.
 
 
#
Caadfael
2012-03-10 13:06

Aye, that would be The Kinks “Dead end Street” then!
 

 
#
gus1940
2012-03-10 09:14

I sincerely hope that from now on the media will carefully monitor and report on just how much he does to ‘earn’ his £60k plus salary and massive expenses e.g. Commons Attendance Record, Number of Constituency Surgeries and response record for Constituent Problems.

It would also be interesting if a similar exercise could be carried out retrospectively and on an ongoing basis for Culpability Brown.
 
 
#
cokynutjoe
2012-03-10 10:24

When you look at the amount of dead meat amongst the Scottish Labour contingent at Westminster, this guy at least had a bit of life in him. And when you consider what the Tories are doing to disabled benefit claimants/Remploy etc’ one can understand some folk being unable to contain their anger.
That said, his own party, by their own gross mismanagement and stupidity, have handed this country over to the present mal-administration, and are equally culpable.
“Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad!”
Who said that? nae idea, but it seems apposite.
 
 
#
tartanfever
2012-03-10 11:14

Some idiots taking advantage of the english riots get months inside for stealing a t-shirt or a pair of jeans, and this guy gets off with an unprovoked physical attack on innocent people.

Aye, thats justice right enough.
 
 
#
Arbroath1320
2012-03-10 13:37

Just another fine example of the “stronger together” mantra we keep hearing about no doubt!
 

 
#
admiral
2012-03-10 13:22

Mind you, it will be a bit of a novelty for a Labour MP to have to do something for the community – any community. A more venal bunch of self-serving hypocrites it would be difficult to find.

Maybe that magistrate has a wicked sense of humour!
 
 
#
cynicalHighlander
2012-03-10 19:47

We maybe shouldn’t judge him on the party he belongs to. Google ‘Eric Joyce Congo’.
 

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