Ex-Labour MP faces being suspended for bullying after making ‘racist’ comments in House of Commons bar

File photo dated 05/01/16 of Labour MP Neil Coyle speaking to the media outside Portcullis House, London. Mr Coyle should be suspended from the House of Commons for five days after breaching Parliament's bullying and harassment policy, a report has found. Issue date: Friday March 3, 2023. PA Photo. The Independent Expert Panel published a report recommending the suspension after the "foul-mouthed and drunken abuse" of another MP's assistant. In another case, Mr Coyle was "accused of bullying and harassment of a Parliamentary journalist". Both incidents occurred in the Strangers' Bar in the Commons. See PA story POLITICS Coyle. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

EX-Labour MP Neil Coyle faces a five day ban from the Commons after being found to have shouted drunken racist abuse at a journalist.

Parliament’s sleaze watchdog recommended the suspension and a public apology today after a months long investigation into two incidents of abuse that took place in a Commons bar last February.

Parliament’s sleaze watchdog has recommended Neil Coyle be suspended from the Commons for five days

It comes as the independent MP this week vowed he’s gone teetotal and is attending Alcoholics Anonymous groups.

In a report published this morning the Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme (ICGS) found Mr Coyle made “foul-mouthed and drunken abuse” at another MP’s assistant and racially abused political reporter for The Guardian, Henry Dyer.

Sir Stephen Irwin, Chair of the watchdog, said: “The most striking aggravating factor in this case was the racial overtone in the verbal abuse.

“In relation to both episodes, it was clear that very marked abuse of alcohol was at the root of events.”

Mr Dyer described Mr Coyle comparing him to the suspected Chinese spy who had been helping fund fellow Labour MP Barry Gardiner’s office.

He accused the MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark of Sinophobia and reported him to Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who suspended him from Parliament’s boozers. 

Mr Coyle quickly had the Labour whip withdrawn too.

Today Mr Dyer 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 Independent Complaints and Grievances Scheme for the way in which they have handled this matter, and to my colleagues and friends for their support and kindness.”

He added: “I am pleased this process has concluded and I can get on with my work as a journalist reporting on Westminster.”

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