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Shamed MP Joyce is told to refund Labour's £3000

He was disgraced after headbutting a Tory MP, fined £3000, banned from pubs for three months and endured allegations about his private life.

ASSAULT: Eric Joyce attacked four MPs in a Commons bar.
ASSAULT: Eric Joyce attacked four MPs in a Commons bar.

Now MP Eric Joyce is facing a final ignominy – his local Labour Party wants its money back.

Members of the Falkirk Constituency Labour Party are writing to the MP asking him to refund £3000 it contributed to his election expenses.

They are also asking Labour HQ in Glasgow for permission to appoint a prospective candidate who will stand in the 2015 Westminster election.

The move comes seven months after Mr Joyce, 53, was convicted of headbutting Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew during a brawl in a House of Commons bar.

He has also been shamed by his own bizarre boasts of his violent past and embarrassed by criticism over a relationship with a teenage girl. Mr Joyce was forced out of the Labour Party after his conviction but vowed to remain an MP until the next election. However, a furious member of Falkirk Labour Party claimed: "He says the reason for not resigning as an MP is because he was elected personally, not the Labour Party. If that's the case we want our money back.

"We have agreed to write to him asking for the £3000 election expenses we provided."

He said Labour members would consider legal action to recover the money – spent on helping return Mr Joyce to Westminster with a 7843 majority in the 2010 poll – if he refused to refund it.

The source added: "The feeling within the Constituency Labour Party is very strong. There is a lot of anger that Eric Joyce was foisted upon us by John Smith House [Labour HQ] and we are determined this time to choose our own candidate. We feel unrepresented because we do not have a Labour MP in Falkirk."

Local activists hope to have a prospective candidate in place by the end of the year.

A former Army major, Mr Joyce was given a 12-month com-munity order in March after admitting four counts of assault at the Strangers' Bar in the Palace of Westminster. He was also fined £3000, ordered to pay £1400 to his victims and banned from pubs for three months. During the brawl, he head-butted Mr Andrew and attacked three other politicians.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard he told police: "You can't touch me, I'm an MP."

He was later fined £600 at Stirling Sheriff Court for removing an electronic tag, in breach of the community order. He said he cut off the tag to take part in a parliamentary boat race.

It then emerged Mr Joyce, who is separated from his wife, had a relationship with a constituency assistant when she was 17. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said at the time that the MP had "abused his position of power and authority". He later gave an unapologetic newspaper interview, in which he claimed fighting was his hobby and bragged of getting into 100 fights in the past.

Mr Joyce entered parliament in a by-election in December 2000.

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: "We understand the concerns of Labour members in Falkirk and will work with them to ensure we have a new candidate in place who will work in the interests of the people of the area."

Mr Joyce said: "I've not received any communication from the Constituency Labour Party. I've asked the Labour Party HQ in Glasgow about this and they say it would not be legitimate under the rules. It would not be valid. I'm taking this as mischief-making."

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