LABOUR MP Eric Joyce has been suspended from the party following allegations of an assault on Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew in a House of Commons bar last night.
Mr Joyce remains MP for Falkirk, but cannot take the Labour whip in the Commons until the completion of a police investigation into the affair.
Scotland Yard confirmed that officers detained a man in his 50s after being called to reports of an incident at a bar within the Palace of Westminster at around 10.50pm. He was taken into custody at a central London police station.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “This is an extremely serious incident. We have suspended Eric Joyce pending the results of the police investigation.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We were called at approximately 10.50pm last night to reports of a disturbance at a bar within the House of Commons.
“A man aged in his 50s was arrested by officers on suspicion of assault.”
Mr Joyce, MP for Falkirk since December 2000, served in the Army Education Corps before pursuing a career in politics.
In 2010 he resigned as shadow Northern Ireland minister after pleading guilty to failing to provide a breath test.
According to reports, Conservative MP Mr Andrew was head-butted and punched in the incident, which happened in the Strangers Bar, a Commons bar reserved for MPs and their guests.
Scotland Yard confirmed today they were still questioning a man over the alleged assault.
A spokesman said: “The man remains in custody at a central London police station.”
Speaking in the Commons before transport questions, Speaker John Bercow said: “Members will be aware of reports of a serious incident in the House last night. I have been informed by the Serjeant at Arms that the honourable member for Falkirk has been detained in police custody.
“The matter is being investigated. I take this matter very seriously, as do the House authorities. I would ask that no further reference should be made to these reports in the Chamber today.”
In response to messages posted on Twitter, Mr Andrew wrote: “I’m ok.”
Scotland Yard said a man was still in custody and being questioned over the alleged assault this afternoon.