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Tuesday 1st May 2012 | 15:31
The House of Commons Commission has issued new instructions on the serving of alcohol.
The ruling body of the Commons administration said that in future glasses will be topped up “less frequently” at receptions and events.
The change comes after MP Eric Joyce punched several people in a drunken fracas in the Stranger’s Bar, which serves Members and their guests.
In a statement the Commission said it takes its “responsibility for the welfare of those who work on the Commons Estate very seriously”.
Barstaff will be given “training and support” to refuse to serve people, including MPs, “when necessary”.
A wider range of non-alcoholic drinks and lower strength beers will be provided in catering outlets and there will be “further promotion of the support available to Members and House staff by the occupational health service and the Speaker's Chaplain”.
There will also be a consultation to take place with the Administration Committee, the House of Lords and the Sports and Social club on the opening hours of bars on the Parliamentary Estate.
On pricing, the Commission said “significant price increases had occurred in recent years and that bar prices were now comparable to high street pubs”.
In March Mr Joyce made a personal statement to the Commons and apologised to Labour MP Phil Wilson, Tory MP Stuart Andrew and Tory researchers Luke McKenzie and Ben Maney.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting all four men and was fined £3,000 and banned from pubs for three months after he admitted attacking them in the Stranger's Bar shortly before last orders on 22 February.
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