LONDON — A British lawmaker with the opposition Labour party has been charged with three counts of assault following a late night fracas in a bar in the House of Commons, police said.
Eric Joyce was suspended from the Labour party in the wake of the incident, in which Stuart Andrew, a lawmaker from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party, is alleged to have been headbutted after a party for a Canadian parliamentary delegation — including House Speaker Andrew Scheer.
The incident, which occurred just after the Canadians had left the bar, took place late Wednesday in the wood-panelled MPs-only Strangers Bar in the British House of Commons.
“This is an extremely serious incident. We have suspended Eric Joyce pending the results of the police investigation,” a Labour party spokesman said.
A police statement said: “Eric Joyce, aged 51, an MP of Union Street, Bo’ness, West Lothian, has been charged with three counts of common assault following an incident within the House of Commons on Wednesday, 22 February.”
Media reports said Andrew claimed to have been headbutted in the incident, although neither his office nor Joyce’s would comment. Andrew was in the bar after an event organized for the Canadian delegation.
Scheer’s press officer Heather Bradley told Postmedia News he wasn’t aware of the incident until he “read about it in the papers.”
“Mr. Scheer was a guest at the Strangers Bar. He had left and did not witness any commotion.”