Scotland

I am not an alcoholic, says MP Eric Joyce

Eric Joyce Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Eric Joyce said he drank a modest amount of alcohol

MP Eric Joyce, who was held by police after an alleged drunken brawl at a bar in the House of Commons, has written a blog denying he is an alcoholic.

The Falkirk MP was arrested by police on Thursday night.

On his website, Mr Joyce claimed he had consumed "a very modest amount of alcohol" and a nurse had pronounced him fit for police interview.

Mr Joyce, 52, was released on bail on Friday evening to return to a central London police station on 28 March.

He has not been charged over the incident. A police inquiry is continuing.

Last year, the independent MP was convicted of assault in the Strangers bar in the House of Commons and later resigned from the Labour Party.

In his blog, he said: "I am not, and never have been, an alcoholic.

"I did, briefly, go through an unhappy period where I drank heavily.

'Concerted effort'

"That ended 12 months ago, overnight, with the dreadful incident in Strangers for which I still feel genuine remorse in respect of those affected."

He said he had made a "concerted effort" to address the causes of that incident.

The MP, who has said he will stand down at the next election, said: "I do not go into bars, nor drink in my office. Nor do I inject alcohol right into my eyeballs while crying."

In the blog, Mr Joyce seeks to correct newspaper reports about the alleged incident at the Sports and Social bar at Westminster on Thursday and the police investigation on Friday.

The politician said reports that the Sergeant-at-Arms had "banned" him from purchasing alcohol within the Palace of Westminster "appears entirely designed for public consumption and fuels misreports of my own alcohol consumption on the evening in question".

He added: "I visited the Sports and Social Bar because it had been just over one year since last year's terrible incident elsewhere.

"In retrospect, this does not seem to have been a good call. I will clearly not be doing so again and it takes neither the brains of an archbishop nor the edict of an official to achieve that end."

Mr Joyce concluded: "I have spoken briefly to a small number of journalists in London and Scotland about some of these facts. I will not be making additional comment until the police inquiry has concluded."

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