Eric Joyce: Wikis

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Eric Joyce MP
Eric Joyce, MP for Falkirk

Member of Parliament
for Falkirk
Falkirk West (2000-2005)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
21 December 2000
Preceded by Dennis Canavan
Majority 13,475 (29.5%)

Born 13 October 1960 (1960-10-13) (age 49)
Perth, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Separated from Rosemary Joyce (previously married to Christina Guest)

Eric Stuart Joyce (born 13 October 1960, in Perth, Scotland) is a British Labour politician and Member of Parliament for Falkirk. Joyce served as a private in the Black Watch before attending University and subsequently rejoining the army as a commissioned officer. He left the army in 1999 and served as the Public Affairs Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality (Scotland). He was elected to parliament in the 2000 Falkirk West by-election, retaining his seat in the 2001 General Election, and elected to the enlarged Falkirk constituency in the 2005 General Election. Since 2003, Joyce has served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to a number of UK Government Ministers. He resigned as the PPS to Bob Ainsworth on 3 September 2009 citing concerns over the war in Afghanistan.

Contents

Early life and education

Joyce lived in Perth with his family for most of his infant and teenage years.

Joyce joined the Army in 1978, initially as a private in the Black Watch before taking a sabbatical between 1981 and 1987 to attend technical college and university where he gained a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from Stirling University. As a University candidate Joyce was made a probationary 2nd Lieutenant on 25 August 1987.[1] In 1987 he attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Royal Army Educational Corps (later Adjutant General's Corps) as a Subaltern with seniority to the 7 October 1981.[2] After receiving his commission he continued his studies part-time and acquired an MA in Education from the University of Bath and an MBA from Keele University. During his time in the army he served in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany and Central America. He was promoted to Captain on 25 January 1990[3] and to Major in 1992. He left the army in 1999,[4] amid controversy after describing the armed forces as "racist, sexist and discriminatory,"[5][6] before going on to serve as the Public Affairs Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality (Scotland).

Political career

He was first elected to parliament in the 2000 Falkirk West by-election, which was prompted by the resignation of Dennis Canavan. On election he served as a member of the Scottish Affairs and the Procedures Select Committees at Westminster. Joyce retained his seat in the 2001 General Election, and was elected to the enlarged Falkirk constituency in the 2005 General Election. At each General Election Joyce has increased his majority, although his % share of the public vote fell during the 2005 election. [7]

Since 2003 Joyce has served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to a number of UK Government Ministers. He resigned as the Parliamentary Aide to Bob Ainsworth on 3 September 2009 citing concerns over the war in Afghanistan.[8] He had previously been PPS to John Hutton during three of Hutton's cabinet posts: when he was the Secretary of State for Defence; Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Prior to that, Joyce served as the Parliamentary Aide to ministers Mike O'Brien MP, when O'Brien was the Minister for Energy at the Department of Trade and Industry and Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for Industry and the Regions at the Department of Trade and Industry.

Joyce has persuaded the Treasury to change the Child Benefit Regulations to remove a discrepancy that disadvantaged young Scottish FE students relative to their peers in the rest of the UK.[9] In April 2008 Joyce became the first European parliamentarian to be granted an opportunity to address the newly formed Parliament of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, when he visited the DRC as the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa with other members of the group.[10] In September 2008, Joyce was criticised by local government councillors for describing the name of the new Clackmannanshire Bridge as "unimaginative" and "parochial".[11]. The naming of the bridge was reported as a contentious matter.[12][13] In September 2008 Joyce was banned from driving for six months after clocking up 12 points on his driving licence.[14]

He is also the author of the Fabian pamphlet titled 'Arms and the Man: renewing the armed services',[15] edited 'Now's the Hour!: new thinking for Holyrood' and has served as Chair of the National Executive of the Fabian Society.

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Parliamentary record

Joyce most often puts his questions in the House of Commons chamber to the Scotland Office, Department of International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Northern Ireland Office, and Ministry of Defence.[16] While a Parliamentary Private Secretary Joyce was expected to vote with the Government,[17] but even when not, he has not broken the Labour whip in Parliament.[18] Joyce is not currently a member of any Parliamentary Select Committees but has been a member of several Public Bill Committees.[16]

Joyce, along with fellow MPs Tom Harris and Jo Swinson, regularly uses the social networking tool Twitter during Parliamentary business including the Prime Minister's Questions to encourage constituents to feel involved with parliamentary proceedings. Despite such activities being permitted under parliamentary rules, the MPs in question have received criticism from some sections of the media for what is perceived to be a lack of participation in the parliamentary proceedings while they are using the social networking tools.[19] Joyce is an advocate of new media in politics. He regularly blogs on current issues concerning House of Commons and the Government in wordpress.[20] He regularly communicates with the public in twitter and his blog. [21]

Expenses claims

Joyce was the top-claiming Member of the House of Commons for the 2005-06 Parliamentary Session, claiming £174,811 in expenses, of which 62% was for staff and office costs.[22] After the 2005-06 Parliamentary Session, he made a public pledge to cut his expenses. Subsequently, during the 2006–07 Parliamentary Session, he moved down to 11th on the list of MPs' expenses and allowances.[23] However, he once again rose to the top of the expenses list for the 2007-08 Parliamentary Session with £187,334.[24]

Joyce was the first MP to claim more than £1 million cumulatively in expenses.[25] In October 2007 Joyce claimed £180 for three oil paintings. When asked why he had used taxpayer's funds in such a way he replied "because they look nice."[26] In May 2009, tabloids reported Joyce was seeking advice from HM Revenue and Customs regarding £40,000 in unpaid capital gains tax on the sale of his London home, which he had designated as his second home under the Second Homes Allowance scheme. The tabloids wrote that when asked what he would do were he asked to repay the money, Joyce stated he would "suck it and see."[27][28]

References

  1. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51158, p. 15612, 21 December 1987. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
  2. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51349, p. 8350, 27 May 1988. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
  3. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52144, p. 9478, 21 May 1990. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
  4. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55453, p. 4137, 12 April 1999. Retrieved on 2009-09-03.
  5. ^ "UK Politics: Outspoken major 'protected' by ministers". BBC. 2 December 1998. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/226266.stm. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  6. ^ "UK: Outspoken army major faces sack". BBC. 28 February 1998. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/60876.stm. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  7. ^ "Constituency profile: Falkirk: Labour: Eric Joyce". The Guardian. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,,-936,00.html. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  8. ^ "Full text: Eric Joyce's resignation". channel4. 3 September 2009. http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/full+text+eric+joyceaposs+resignation/3330797. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  9. ^ Lydall, Ross (11 April 2009). "Blunder leaves Scots parents short of tens of millions in benefit". The Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Blunder-leaves-Scots-parents-short.5163097.jp. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  10. ^ "Congo: Unfinished Business" (DOC). All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa. July 2008. http://www.appggreatlakes.org/images/stories/APPGReports/congo%20unfinished%20business%20report%202008.doc. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  11. ^ McRoberts, Kevin. "MP blasted over silly jibe". Alloa Advertiser. http://www.alloaadvertiser.com/articles/1/18268. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  12. ^ "Troubled waters for bridge naming". BBC. 15 December 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/6180607.stm. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  13. ^ "Salmond opens £120m Clackmannanshire Bridge over Forth". The Herald. http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2469252.0.Salmond_opens_120m_Clackmannanshire_Bridge_over_Forth.php. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  /
  14. ^ Mills, Rod (2 October 2008). "Labour MP is banned after 81mph drive". Daily Express. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/64126/Labour-MP-is-banned-after-81mph-drive. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  15. ^ Joyce, Eric (31 August 1997). Arms and the Man - Renewing the Armed Services. Fabian Society. ISBN 0716330377.  
  16. ^ a b "Eric Joyce". TheyWorkForYou.com. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/eric_joyce/falkirk. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  17. ^ "Parliamentary private secretaries (PPSs)". BBC. 12 October 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/82591.stm. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  18. ^ Publicwhip.org.uk shows the only occasions when Joyce has differed from the majority of Labour MPs were on matters where no whip was applied: principally House of Lords reform and restrictions on smoking in public.
  19. ^ "Woodward and Bernstein can relax". Tom Harris MP. 3 May 2009. http://www.tomharris.org.uk/2009/05/03/woodward-and-bernstein-can-relax. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  20. ^ "Eric Joyce's Blog". Wordpress. http://wordpress.ericjoyce.com. Retrieved 24 Nov 2009.  
  21. ^ "Eric Joyce's Blog". Wordpress. http://wordpress.ericjoyce.com. Retrieved 24 Nov 2009.  
  22. ^ Branigan, Tania (27 October 2006). "MPs' expenses claims hit record £86.8m". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/oct/27/uk.houseofcommons. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  23. ^ "MP Joyce drops down expenses list". BBC. 25 October 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7061829.stm. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  24. ^ "Scottish MPs are top claimants for expenses". STV. 30 March 2009. http://news.stv.tv/home/85472-scottish-mps-are-top-claimants-for-expenses. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  25. ^ Fenech, Katherine (25 May 2009). "£1M MP faces big payout". Daily Express. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/103251/-1m-MP-faces-big-payout. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  26. ^ "Joyce interview". Newsnight. 19 June 2009.
  27. ^ MacDonell, Hamish (25 May 2009). "Scots MPs prepare to 'suck it and see' after tax revelations". The Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/politics/Scots-MPs-prepare-to-39suck.5298306.jp. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  
  28. ^ Walters, Simon (24 May 2009). "'This conversation may have cost me £160,000'... First MP to claim £1m admits he failed to pay capital gains tax on two homes". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1186953/This-conversation-cost-160-000-MP-claimed-1m-admits-failed-pay-capital-gains-tax.html. Retrieved 3 September 2009.  

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Dennis Canavan
Member of Parliament for Falkirk West
20002005
Succeeded by
Abolished
Preceded by
New
Member of Parliament for Falkirk
2005 – current
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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