ERIC JOYCE MP has been arrested for the fourth time in three years following an alleged incident in a shop in London.
The Metropolitan Police said a 54-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm after the incident at a convenience store in Camden, north London.
Mr Joyce, the independent MP for Falkirk, released a statement about the incident on his website, confirming he had spoken to police at the store just before 10pm on Friday, 17 October.
He insists he was only trying to detain a young vandal.
He said that “no alcohol was involved” in the incident and added that he did not feel he was “in the wrong”.
The matter has now been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.
MPs were told of the incident in a circular last week. It informed them that a letter had been sent to John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, “from the Metropolitan Police relating to the arrest of Eric Joyce, member for Falkirk”.
A Met spokesman said a 14-year-old boy was also arrested at the scene for possession of cannabis and was taken to a central London police station for questioning along with the 54-year-old.
Writing on his blog, Mr Joyce claimed he had asked for police to be called after he had “detained a youth”.
The MP, a former army major, who is standing down at next year’s general election, wrote on his website: “I detained a youth in a shop in London. Damage had been done to the store.
“I asked the shopkeeper to call the police, and when officers arrived they arrested the youth and informed me that drugs had been recovered from the scene.
“The officers also informed me that the youth had immediately made a complaint that I had assaulted him by detaining him.
“I was questioned by the police and told that because of my identity, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police press office would be
informed of the incident.
“I understand the Metropolitan Police has now made the matter public. I will make no further comment for now, other than to say a) that no alcohol was involved and b) I am not in the habit of summoning the police if I feel that I am in the wrong.”
Mr Joyce resigned from the Labour Party in 2012 after pleading guilty to a drunken assault in a House of Commons bar, and announced he would stand down from parliament at next year’s election.
A second arrest for an alleged Commons bar brawl resulted in him being banned from purchasing alcohol in the Palace of Westminster.
Earlier this year he was fined £1,500 in relation to a breach of the peace at Edinburgh Airport on 19 May last year. He admitted abusive behaviour and was fined £1,500. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £100 to an airport worker and £50 to a police officer.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Police in Camden were called to a convenience store in Chalk Farm Parade, NW3, at 9:42pm on Friday,
17 October following reports of a fight.
“Upon arrival, officers found a man and a boy involved in an altercation. A 54-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of ABH.
“A 14-year-old boy was also arrested at the scene for possession of cannabis. Both have been taken to a central London police station for questioning.
“Neither required medical treatment. Inquiries are on-going.”