Ex-Labour MP 'ashamed' of drunkenly abusing people in parliamentary bar

Neil Coyle used 'abusive language with racial overtones'.

Former Labour MP Neil Coyle ‘ashamed’ after drunkenly abusing people in Commons bar Parliament UK

A former Labour MP has said he is “ashamed” of his behaviour after being recommended for a five-day suspension for drunkenly abusing two people in a parliamentary bar.

Neil Coyle used “abusive language with racial overtones” on one occasion in a Commons bar.

The Independent Expert Panel found he breached Parliament’s bullying and harassment policy in a report published on Friday over two incidents.

One was the “foul-mouthed and drunken abuse” of another MP’s assistant and the other was the abuse of political journalist Henry Dyer.

Both incidents investigated under Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) occurred in the Strangers’ Bar in the Commons.

The report said Coyle, who has spoken about quitting alcohol for a year, accepts he was “drunk” on both occasions.

The independent MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark “was found to have used abusive language with racial overtones” towards Mr Dyer.

The journalist, who now works for the Guardian, said: “Everyone working in Parliament should be able to do so without harassment and abuse.

“I spoke out to raise awareness of racism, particularly anti-Asian racism, and of inappropriate conduct.

“I am grateful to the ICGS for the way in which they have handled this matter, and to my colleagues and friends for their support and kindness. I am pleased this process has concluded and I can get on with my work as a journalist reporting on Westminster.”

Coyle apologised in the House of Commons and said he is “ashamed” of his behaviour.

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