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Price of booze at Palace of Westminster 'under review' after bar brawl

A Westminster bar has been closed after an early evening fight (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Booze prices in the myriad of bars within the Palace of Westminster are “under review” following a brawl in which one man was apparently glassed.

A senior MP has confirmed that the notoriously cheap alcohol sold on the parliamentary estate was “clearly an issue”.

Tom Brake, the Lib Dem chair of the House of Commons Commission, said that while there was no “direct financial subsidy” on booze in the palace, pricing was being examined.

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“Alcohol is sold in House of Commons bars, some catering venues and in banqueting and events, achieving a gross profit margin of around 69%, this profit of around a million a year helps to offset the total cost of catering,” he said in response to a question from Tory MP Philip Hollobone.

“He may be aware of the incident a couple of days ago in relation to the Sports and Social Club and that is something that is run by the House of Lords.

“There is an investigation under way into that and clearly this is an issue that is under review, I think, for the reasons he has set out.”

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Police were called to a courtyard near the Sports and Social Club Bar at 6.30pm on Tuesday following a brawl involving two men.

One of the men, aged 57, was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and affray, and was taken to a central London police station.

A House of Lords spokesman said: “Following an incident on the parliamentary estate last night involving two parliamentary staff, after leaving the Sports and Social Club Bar, an investigation is under way and the bar will be temporarily closed until that investigation is complete.”

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The bar is known to be a favourite haunt of young parliamentary aides and older members of staff who work on the estate.

It previously hit the headlines after Eric Joyce, the former independent MP for Falkirk, was arrested, though not charged, following a late-night brawl there in 2013.