Commons urged to suspend ex-Labour MP for foul-mouthed, drunken abuse2 min read
Former Labour MP Neil Coyle should be suspended from the House of Commons for five days after breaching Parliament’s bullying and harassment policy, a report has found. Two separate complaints were made about the MP under Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS). The first incident found Mr Coyle engaged in a “foul-mouthed and drunken abuse of the parliamentary assistant”.
The IEP sub-panel considering sanction found that Mr Coyle’s behaviour would have been “shocking and intimidating for any complainant, particularly a junior member of staff.”
It recommended that Mr Coyle should be suspended from the House for two sitting days and that he should make an apology on the floor of the House by way of a personal statement.
In the second case, Mr Coyle was accused of bullying and harassment of a parliamentary journalist.
The MP was found to have used abusive language with racial overtones.
Mr Coyle appealed the Commissioner’s decision on several grounds, but the committee recommended that Mr Coyle should be suspended from the House for a further three sitting days and that he should make an apology on the floor of the House by way of a personal statement.
The IEP sub-panel concluded that Mr Coyle made the comments “while under the influence of excessive amounts of alcohol which, while undoubtedly contributing to his behaviour, in no way excuse it, as the respondent rightly accepts”.
The report added: “Nonetheless, since the incident, the respondent has taken considerable steps to ensure no repetition of the behaviour, including informing us that he has stopped drinking alcohol.”
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