Order! Clampdown on boozing in British parliament

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Báo Tuổi Trẻ English - 25 month(s) ago 2 readings

Order! Clampdown on boozing in British parliament

Authorities are calling time on the drinking culture in Britain's Houses of Parliament, announcing new measures on Tuesday in the wake of a late-night fist-fight in a bar.

Dawn breaks over Britain Dawn breaks over Britain's Houses of Parliament in central London Photo: AFP

Authorities are calling time on the drinking culture in Britain's Houses of Parliament, announcing new measures on Tuesday in the wake of a late-night fist-fight in a bar.

The House of Commons Commission, the body that runs the lower chamber's facilities, said it was bringing in new policies to promote responsible alcohol use.

Opposition lawmaker Eric Joyce admitted four charges of common assault in February following a brawl in the Strangers' Bar, which is open to MPs and their guests. Reports said other MPs were headbutted and punched.

The commission is chaired by Commons Speaker John Bercow, who regularly shouts "Order! Order!" in the chamber to keep rowdy MPs in check.

The body said it took the welfare of those working at the Commons "very seriously" and had agreed the new measures following "careful consideration of the issues around alcohol consumption".

They include a wider range of non-alcoholic drinks and lower-strength beers and training staff in refusing to serve customers "when necessary".

At receptions where alcohol is served, glasses will be topped up less frequently, while a consultation will take place on bar opening hours across parliament.

The health and spiritual services open to lawmakers and Commons staff will also be more widely promoted.

The statement also noted that "significant price increases had occurred in recent years and that bar prices were now comparable to high street pubs", following criticism of MPs knocking back subsidised booze at the expense of taxpayers at a time of austerity measures.

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