‘I am lucky to avoid jail’ admits MP in drunken Commons brawl

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Eric Joyce has been no stranger to controversy.

His arrival at Westminster in 2000 came shortly after he quit the Army, making claims of snobbery, sexism and racism in the armed forces.

Born in Perth, he signed up as a private in the Black Watch when still a teenager but took a sabbatical to earn a religious studies degree from the University of Stirling and later attended Sandhurst to gain an officer’s commission.

He rose to the rank of major in the Royal Army Educational Corps but quit in 1999 after falling out with the top brass.

His past expenses claims have led to criticism and at one point he admitted they were not “feasible”.