Eric Joyce MP arrested after Edinburgh Airport row
DISGRACED MP Eric Joyce is facing charges of breach of the peace after being arrested following an incident at Edinburgh Airport, after one witness said police pinned him to the floor.
• Row said to have erupted after Joyce left his phone on plane.
• Witness said police had to pin Joyce on floor to cuff him.
The incident, is said to have involved an argument over a mobile phone.
Mr Joyce, who had arrived on a flight from London, is understood to have left his phone on the plane, and was said to have become abusive to handling staff agents when he was not immediately allowed to retrieve it.
Airport staff contacted the police, who the MP was also said to have behaved aggressively towards, resulting in a scuffle which saw Mr Joyce end up on the floor before being arrested.
A source said: “The handling agents called the police after a passenger became abusive towards them. When the police arrived the passenger was seen to push one of the officers. The officers attempted to calm him down but he became more and more aggressive and eventually went to grab one of the officers. The officers then pushed him up against the desk and down on to the floor, where he was handcuffed. A policeman was on top of him, with his knee at the back of his neck.
‘Shouting and swearing’
“A whole flight full of people walked past while he was restrained on the ground.”
Another eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had seen a passenger “shouting and swearing” at airport staff and police.
He said: “As far as I could tell it was something to do with his mobile phone. I think he’d left it on the flight and wasn’t being allowed to get it.”
A tweet posted on Sunday night by Mr Joyce, part of a conversation the MP was having with two other users, reads: “A’ve goat te get (insert glottal stop) oan this ‘plane. As you plucky westerners like to say.”
An airport spokesman said: “We can confirm that an incident did occur on Sunday evening and an individual was arrested for being abusive and confrontational towards airport staff and police. Behaviour of this nature is something we have zero tolerance for at Edinburgh Airport and police officers will act accordingly if the safety of our passengers and employees is put at risk.”
The former Labour MP has already hit the headlines this week after threatening to force a by-election before the 2015 general election if he does not agree with the choice of candidate put forward to replace him as MP for Falkirk.
Mr Joyce had asked party leader Ed Miliband to take control of the selection process after reports the Unite trade union had recruited new members to aid its own favoured contender.
Mr Joyce was first elected as member for Falkirk in 2000, the year after he resigned his post as a major in the British Army, after publicly insinuating that the armed forces were racist, sexist and discriminatory. He regularly topped the MPs’ expenses table from 2005-6 until last year and in 2009-10 became the first MP to claim over £200,000.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “A 52-year-old man has been reported to the fiscal in connection with an alleged breach of the peace, which happened at Edinburgh Airport on Sunday, May 19. He will appear in court at a later date.”
Mr Joyce’s constituency office in Falkirk did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.
HOW TO LAND YOUR MISSING ITEMS
The procedure when losing an item on an aircraft would be to initially contact your airline, who would then put you in touch with the relevant ticket office at the airport. You would then be directed to lost luggage. There is a £7.50 charge per item for lost property.
EasyJet currently operates a separate lost property process, whereby if property is not picked up within five days it is then sent to EasyJet’s central baggage department. Each item is tagged and recorded with specific information to assist with matching to a customer.
If you are unable to claim your lost item at the airport, visit www.airlinelostproperty.com where you will be able to complete a form detailing the item.