Thursday, February 23, 2012

Internal Beeb Blow by Blow Account

The BBC internal wires are circulating this account of how last night’s Joyce episode began. Look North reporter Joe Inwood’s report has worked its way into Guido’s inbox:

  • Andrew Percy MP was hosting an event for the Speaker of the Canadian Parliament, at which Stuart Andrew MP was a guest.
  • The night had progressed, and the speaker (and family) had left.
  • Eric Joyce was also in the bar, and was having a conversation with Alec Shelbrooke MP.
  • Andrew Percy had gone to the bar and on his way back asked to get past AS and EJ.
  • EJ was then heard (by eye witness) to say something along the “no you can’t. I’m fed up with this place. It’s full of f###ing Tories.”
  • Somehow this confrontation ended with Andrew Percy being pushed to a wall.
  • At this point Stuart Andrew stood up and told him (EJ) to stop.
  • IT IS ALLEGED THAT At this point EJ then grabbed SA by the tie, pushing him up against a wall.
  • AP had gone to get the police, who promptly surrounded Joyce, although did not restrain him.
  • Eric Joyce IS SAID TO HAVE objected to his treatment, saying they could not do this to an MP.
  • IT IS CLAIMED THAT he then, whilst surrounded by police launched himself at SA, head butting him and punching him.

And the rest they say is history.

They go on to confirm that this window was broken during Joyce’s removal.

Tomorrow we might write about something else…

JOYCE UPDATE: Police Interviewing in Committee Rooms
Rumour Joyce Took a Swing at the Desk Sergeant

Interviews are currently going on in Committee Rooms 16/17/18 for members and staffers who witnessed last night’s fun and games. There is also some speculation that Joyce  has been moved from Belgravia to another police station. Either way, he’s been in custody for over sixteen hours now. Tea Room gossip is gathering pace too…

Though Guido stresses this is just gossip, there is is talk that Joyce took a swing at the desk sergeant when he was being booked in last night…

Anyone remember what he was drinking?

UPDATE:

Police Sources: Joyce Victim Concussed, 8 Officers Witnessed Strangers’ Bar Staff Called for Interviews at 3pm

Strangers’ Bar staff have been called to Belgravia Police Station at 3pm to give further witness statements about the Eric Joyce brawl. Other MPs who witnessed the affair, as well as staffers and other drinkers will also be interviewed in the coming hours.

Guido understands that the really bad news for Eric Joyce is that as many as eight officers witnessed him breaking out of police custody to return to the fray. Police sources indicate that the main headbutting incident happened after the police had first intervened. All of the officers have given statements this morning. There is further bad news for Joyce in the fact that one of the victims, possibly Tory MP Stuart Andrew, was left concussed from the incident, meaning that the charge could be Actual Bodily Harm rather than assault. And that’s by-election territory…

UPDATE: ITV’s Alex Forrest says the Members are being interviewed in their Westminster offices.

Debate Tonight:
“Lobbyists Are Paid to Thwart the Democratic Will.”

Tonight Guido and Tamasin Cave from Spinwatch are proposing the motion for debate that “Lobbyists Are Paid to Thwart the Democratic Will”. Mark Adams from Stand Up 4 Lobbying and Justin Fisher from the The Magna Carta Institute are opposing.

The event is taking place in Smith Square, Westminster and the audience will probably be riddled with lobbyists. So if you want to attend tonight and bolster the forces of democracy, email debate@StandUp4Lobbying.org, There is free booze courtesy of Ellwood and Atfield.  Full details here. See you later…

Picture: Smashed Commons Window

Commons co-conspirators report this morning that the broken windows near Strangers’ Bar certainly weren’t broken this time yesterday:

The now suspended Major Joyce (Education Corp) must have put up quite a struggle…

Eric Joyce shouts…

“There are too many Tories in the bar”

Eye-Witness Account : Eric Joyce Punch-Up

From a co-conspirator:

“I was in strangers bar last night and saw the fight first hand.

I don’t know who threw the first punch, or why it happened, but I first noticed something had happened when Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke was trying to restrain Eric Joyce shouting “YOU DO NOT DO THAT TO AN MP IN THIS HOUSE!”. Others then tried to drag Eric away from everyone else.

Eric continued to struggle and broke away from those who were holding him back. A couple of people got punched, tables got knocked over, drinks spilt, and glasses broken. A Conservative female MP then put herself in between Eric and the people he was after shouting “PUNCH ME BEFORE YOU PUNCH MY STAFF!” Yet Eric continued to struggle.

A couple of people managed to hold him down on the ground until the police arrived, who cuffed him and took him away. The security informed us while they were taking statements and names that it took them so long to get there as they went to the Sports and Social bar first.”

Seems about right…

Strangers’ Subsidised Fight Night

What happens in the Strangers’ Bar stays in Strangers’  Bar, or so they like to think. That rule goes out the window though if you’re a Labour MP who gives a Tory colleague “a Glasgow kiss”. Labour’s Eric Joyce was nicked last night after apparently headbutting Tory MP Stuart Andrew.

Witnesses tell Guido he “just kicked off” and start flailing shouting “There are too many Tories in the bar”. Tory councillor Luke MacKenzie got punched while trying to break things up. Guido is trying to work out what triggered it all and you can whisper what you know here.

Aside from one too many taxpayer subsidised pints of course…

UPDATE: Joyce wasn’t the only politico arrested last night. West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire, who was forced out of UKIP, was arrested in Birmingham for conspiracy to defraud the EU Parliament.


Seen Elsewhere

Government Needs 10.6% Spending Cuts To Meet Target | IFS
What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts


VOTER-RECALL
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Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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