Labour lawmaker in UK charged after brawl

Labour lawmaker in UK charged after brawl

LONDON - The Associated Press
Labour lawmaker in UK charged after brawl

AFP photo

A British lawmaker has been charged with three counts of common assault after an alleged brawl in a bar inside the Houses of Parliament, police said Friday.

Police confirmed that Eric Joyce was charged with the offenses late on Thursday and will appear at West London Magistrates Court on March 7.

The 51-year-old legislator, who joined the House of Commons in 2000, has already been suspended from the main opposition Labour Party while police investigate the incident at Strangers Bar.

Media reports said Friday that Joyce is alleged to have been heard objecting to the number of Conservative Party members inside the venue, before purportedly striking Conservative lawmaker Stuart Andrew.

Andrew has not commented, apart from tweets in response to questions, saying "I'm OK." Strangers Bar is one of about 20 cafes, restaurants and bars inside the world-famous Parliament building. The bar, which offers views of the River Thames, is open only to lawmakers and their invited guests.