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Freetard-friendly MP allegedly cuffed after scrap in Commons bar

Plods called after pints spilled, punches thrown

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The freetards' second-favourite MP, Eric Joyce (sample quote: "It's highly debatable that downloading is theft") has allegedly been arrested following a fight in the Strangers Bar at the House of Commons.

An anonymous eyewitness quoted at Total Politics alleged that Joyce, 51, head-butted a Conservative MP and punched a Labour member and that drinks were spilled. The BBC has also reported the story.

Before becoming an MP Joyce served in the Army, first as an infantry private and then, after obtaining a degree in religious studies, as an officer in the education corps. He was suspended from duty on full pay in the late 1990s after penning various articles accusing the army of racism, sexism and snobbery, during which time the Tories suggested that he had been guilty of gross insubordination (serving officers normally require permission from their superiors to write for public consumption) and that Labour ministers were protecting him.

Having left the Army Joyce entered Parliament in 2000, and has since served as parliamentary aide to various senior Labour figures. He achieved some notoriety as the first MP to claim a total of £1m in expenses, in 2009. He resigned as shadow Northern Ireland minister in 2010 after pleading guilty to failing to provide a breath test.

Scotland Yard confirmed cops cuffed a bloke at a Commons bar at around 10.50pm on Wednesday. A spokesman said: "A man aged in his 50s was arrested by officers on suspicion of assault. He remains in custody in a central London police station. Inquiries are continuing."

Strangers is one of several subsidised bars in the Palace of Westminster, but the only one in which voters can drink. Citizens must be guests of an elected member of the House of Commons, and MPs must buy the guests the drinks. It has a justifiable reputation for serving well-kept real ale.

By coincidence, your humble reporter was also in Strangers Bar last night, at the same time as Joyce, who was seen talking to a blonde. But I left before the fisticuffs.

Trouble just seems to follow me around. ®

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