Scottish Labour left reeling as head-butt MP accused of schoolgirl affair


By a Newsnet reporter

The Scottish Labour party has been rocked after schoolgirl sex allegations were levelled against head-butt MP Eric Joyce.

According to the Daily Record, the disgraced Labour MP had an affair with a seventeen year old schoolgirl he befriended after she volunteered to help out with his 2010 election campaign.

The teenager was a pupil at Graeme High School in Falkirk when she joined his campaign team, Joyce used her photograph on his election campaign material.

The Labour MP, who was recently charged with three counts of common assault after he allegedly attacked a political opponent in a House of Commons bar, is now under increasing calls to stand down as the MP for Falkirk.

The politician, from Bo’ness, near Falkirk, was bailed last week and is due to appear at West London Magistrates’ Court on March 7.

The controversy surrounding Mr Joyce has brought stinging criticism for Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont who had remained silent.

However, the under fire Labour head finally broke her silence today after the new allegations emerged.

Speaking last night to the Record she said: “This is a man who has abused his position of power and authority.

“I’m disgusted, regardless of any other issues.  I think this makes Eric Joyce unfit to stand for the Labour Party.”

Later on the BBC she appeared more circumspect and added: “I’ve said if the reports are true, I’m gravely concerned about it.

“It is an abuse of trust and power for anybody in his position to have done such a thing and he will provide his own defence.

“But I’ve made clear if these reports are true I do not regard him as somebody suitable to represent the Labour party or the people of Falkirk.”

If Mr Joyce was to stand down it would mean a by-election in Falkirk.  In 2010 Mr Joyce took the seat with the SNP in second place – the majority was 7843.  The Labour party has insisted that it has no power to force Mr Joyce to stand down as an MP.

A defiant Mr Joyce denied that he had an affair with the schoolgirl and said he would be seeking legal advice.

He told the London Evening Standard: “The story is not true and I will be taking legal advice.”

These allegations are only the latest to hit the Scottish Labour party and come weeks after a female councillor alleged that her disabled son’s apprenticeship was threatened by a member of the Glasgow Council Labour group if she did not support the party in a crucial budget vote.

If followed a police investigation into the same Labour councillor two years ago after allegations of sexual harassment were made.  Gilbert Davidson had been accused of making suggestive phone calls to Provost Liz Cameron.  The Labour councillor had also been the subject of an inquiry after he was alleged to have groped a female colleague.

Schoolgirl comments

Ex Labour MSP Frank McAveety, who is to stand as a councillor for the party in Glasgow, was forced to resign as chair of a Holyrood committee after being caught making inappropriate comments about a schoolgirl who was sitting in the public gallery.

The Labour MSP for Glasgow Shettleston was chairing a petitions committee when, during a break in proceedings, he was picked up on microphone referring to a “very attractive girl” in the public benches.

Mr McAveety made reference to the young woman’s skin colour and race adding that she was “dark and dusky” with a “Filipino look”.

McAveety, turning to the committee clerk, said: “She’s very attractive looking, nice, very nice, very slim,” …. “The heat’s getting to me.”

The MSP added: “She looks kinda … she’s got that Filipino look.  You know … the kind you’d see in a Gaugin painting. There’s a wee bit of culture.”

However the most outrageous remark was when he appeared to suggest that the young woman might be pursued in some fashion.

McAveety said: “We’ll maybe put a wee word out for her.”

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