Commons bar staff to refuse intoxicated MPs

The commission will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the incident involving MP Eric Joyce in February
The commission wil be hoping to avoid a repeat of the incident involving MP Eric Joyce in February

By Oliver Hotham

Speaker John Bercow is taking action against drunken MPs - by encouraging Commons bar staff to refuse serving politicians looking a little the worse for wear.

At its monthly meeting yesterday the House of Commons commission, led by Speaker Bercow, agreed new measures to "promote responsible alcohol use" among MPs.

It follows a much-publicised incident in the Stranger's bar in the House of Commons in February, when heavily intoxicated Falkirk MP Eric Joyce began attacking fellow members.


The commission agreed to give catering staff more training in refusing to serve customers "when necessary".

A wider range of non-alcoholic and lower strength beers will be introduced. Glasses will be topped up less frequently at events where alcohol is served.

The commission is also opening up a consultation on the opening hours of bars in parliament.

Mr Joyce shouted that there were "too many f***ing Tories in here" before telling police "you can't touch me, I'm an MP". He was suspended from the Labour party and fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,400 in compensation to his victims.

The commission also announced proposals to give MPs on select committees that use electronic documents iPads and is allowing MPs to swap their existing IT for an iPad.

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