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MP Arrested After Bar Brawl Denies Being Drunk
The MP arrested after a fight in a bar at the Palace of Westminster has denied he was drunk at the time.
Eric Joyce insisted he had consumed "by any standards a very modest amount" and criticised a decision by House of Commons officials to ban him from drinking at Parliament.
In a posting on his website, he also revealed that his visit to the Sports and Social Club bar on Thursday night was to mark more than a year since he was previously arrested.
"In retrospect, this does not seem to have been a good call," he said, while also stating that he would never do so again.
"It takes neither the brains of an archbishop nor the edict of an official to achieve that end," he said.
And, amid calls by some of his constituents for him to quit after the second such incident in recent years, he defended his "diligence" as the independent constituency MP for Falkirk - and denied he was "an alcoholic".
Mr Joyce spent the night at central London's Belgravia Police Station after being arrested on suspicion of assault following a disturbance at the House of Commons bar, and was re-arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm while in police custody.
He left the station by the back door on Friday after he was bailed to return there at a date later this month.
Last February, he resigned from the Labour Party after headbutting Tory rivals Stuart Andrew and Ben Maney in a different Commons bar called Strangers' Bar.
The 52-year-old also punched Tory councillor Luke Mackenzie and Labour whip Phillip Wilson.
The former soldier was given a 12-month community order and banned from entering pubs and licensed premises for three months after admitting four counts of common assault. A Friday to Sunday curfew was also imposed on him.
He also walked away from Westminster Magistrates Court with a £3,000 fine and was ordered to pay £1,400 to victims.
On the latest incident, the MP said he was limited in his responses to reports about him as he wanted to "respect the police inquiry".
But in a series of points, he sought to correct what he said were false reports about his health and general behaviour.
"I am not, and never have been, an alcoholic," he wrote.
"I did, briefly, go through an unhappy period where I drank heavily. That ended 12 months ago, overnight, with the dreadful incident in Strangers for which I still feel genuine remorse in respect of those affected.
"I have spent the past 12 months making a concerted effort to address the causes of that incident. I do not go into bars, nor drink in my office. Nor do I inject alcohol right into my eyeballs while crying.
"I was not drunk last Thursday. I had consumed, by any standards, a very modest amount of alcohol.
"I was examined by a nurse after being arrested. I was pronounced fit for interview. I did not need to 'sleep it off'."
Mr Joyce also denied claims that there was an "anti-Tory dimension" to his behaviour on Thursday prior to his arrest and cited good cross-party relationships.
He also addressed a number of personal issues which have been reported on and denied that they were a factor in his actions.
"I separated from my wife seven years ago. We are on excellent terms. I am not broken, tortured, lonely or tormented," he said.
Mr Joyce has labelled as "ridiculous" suggestions that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress.
He has been banned from buying, and being served, alcohol in all parliamentary facilities.