FALKIRK MP Eric Joyce has conceded that his political career will be over by the next general election.
The former soldier was thrown out of the Labour Party after he was arrested over an assault in a House of Commons bar in 2012. Police were called to a disturbance, and Joyce was given a 12-month community order and fined £3,000 after admitting headbutting Tory rivals Stuart Andrew and Ben Maney.
Mr Joyce was asked if his political career would be finished by the election in 2015, to which he replied: “Yes, without question.”
In the meantime he continues as an independent MP.
Mr Joyce admitted that people in Scotland might think his application to rejoin the Labour Party was embarrassing.
But he added: “I think other people might think a couple of years of not being in the party… is a fairly big penalty – and it really would be up to the Labour Party to make that judgment.”
Mr Joyce is former shadow Northern Ireland secretary, but was rocked in March last year by claims that he had had a relationship with a 17-year-old girl who had worked on his 2010 General Election campaign.
Labour leader Johann Lamont said she felt it made Joyce “unfit to stand for the Labour Party”, adding: “This is a man who has abused his position of power and authority.”
Mr Joyce said that his constituency work and his role legislating at Westminster would carry on as normal, but he admitted that he was unaware of the mood among his constituents.
“I’m not sure what the people of Falkirk feel – you would have to ask them,” he added.