Just as the media are on the hunt for senior Tories meeting people they shouldn’t be meeting, look who pops up in the White Swan:
Chin up boys.
As far as Guido can tell, the last time a Ministerial Statement was rushed on to the Friday agenda was when we bombed Libya. Given that the government has bombed quite enough already this week, unsurprisingly this rushed distraction job is not having the desired effect. It failed to push the Granny Tax off of the front pages and has gone down like the proverbial dodgy pint. Theresa May is not helping matters by constantly talking about “pre-loading” to describe drinking cheap alcohol at home before going out. It seems she alone has coined this phrase…
UPDATE: Yvette just gave the Home Secretary a good going over declaring that May “is being used as human shield and she should have said no”. The Shadow Home Secretary also confirmed that there have only been three statements on a Friday in last decade. Two were concerning war and the other Swine Flu.
Filmed live at the Barley Mow, Westminster.
“premium coffee service available from 10.30am”.
Who could they be targeting with that one?
He will appear in court on 7 March.
The second MP to face charges this year.
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:
They go on to confirm that this window was broken during Joyce’s removal.
Tomorrow we might write about something else…
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?
Stuart Andrew has just given statement to the police and is pressing charges over alleged assault. Andrew Percy was interviewed earlier.—
Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) February 23, 2012
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.
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Lord Glasman tells it like it is:
“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.