Yorkshire Tory MP ‘headbutted’ in fracas at Commons bar

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew
Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew
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TORY MP Stuart Andrew was left nursing a headache after a disturbance in a House of Commons bar during which he was allegedly headbutted by a fellow MP.

The Pudsey MP was left with blood pouring from his nose after the fracas in Parliament’s most famous drinking spot – Strangers bar – which saw Labour MP Eric Joyce arrested by police.

Mr Andrew was with Elmet and Rothwell MP Alec Shelbrooke and Brigg and Goole’s Andrew Percy when the incident happened at about 10.30pm on Wednesday night, shortly after a delegation including the Speaker of the Canadian Parliament had left the bar.

Other Labour politicians were left appalled, and Falkirk MP Mr Joyce was yesterday suspended by the party as he was questioned by officers at Belgravia Police Station on suspicion of assault.

Mr Andrew, who confirmed he was pressing charges and insisted “I’m ok” in a message on Twitter, was in Parliament yesterday complaining of a headache but otherwise bearing no visible scars from the incident, telling colleagues he had “no idea” what had sparked it.

Police interviewed Mr Andrew in the afternoon along with a string of other MPs including Mr Percy who were quizzed as witnesses.

Strangers is a popular Commons bar where MPs often take guests, and a number of politicians were still there after the Commons sitting finished just after 7.45pm.

Mr Andrew, who won Pudsey from Labour at the last general election, was sitting at a table towards the rear when the incident took place.

Mr Shelbrooke and fellow Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price are said to have tried to tackle Mr Joyce, while Mr Percy, who had returned to the bar moments before, went to summon police.

Commons Speaker John Bercow said he took the matter “very seriously” but warned MPs not to discuss the incident in the chamber during yesterday’s sitting, while Mr Andrew said it was a “matter for the police”.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “This is an extremely serious incident. We have suspended Eric Joyce pending the results of the police investigation.”

Mr Joyce, MP for Falkirk since December 2000, served in the Army Education Corps before pursuing a career in politics and served as an aide to Labour Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth before quitting after expressing concerns over the war in Afghanistan.

Mr Andrew, who lives in Guiseley, has been leading a campaign to save the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit and was one of a string of Tory MPs in West Yorkshire to win fiercely-contested marginal seats in 2010.