University of Beds students scoop interview with disgraced Labour MP

Journalism students at the University of Bedfordshire scooped an interview with disgraced MP Eric Joyce after he pleaded guilty to four charges of assault at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court last Friday.

According to the journalism department, students used a contact close to the Falkirk MP to secure the interview which has since been carried by the Press Association, the Huffington Post, the Daily Mirror online and in part by the Daily Mail.

The Labour MP avoided jail but was fined and banned from pubs for three months after he admitted drunkenly assaulting fellow MPs in a House of Commons bar on 22 February (BBC).

According to course leader Kate Ironside Joyce had been unsure about the interview, but confirmed on Friday and the students drove him from court to the university campus in Luton.

Ironside said his solicitors persuaded magistrates to delay imposing a curfew on the 51-year-old to enable him to visit the university.

In a televised interview with third year student Sam Holden, Joyce described his ‘evening of violence’in the Commons as ‘a spectacular oops’and admitted he had problems with both alcohol and anger.

The students also tweeted the interview, reported it for the university’s radio station and their newspaper, The Ebdonite.

Ironside, said: ‘This was not an exercise. This was a real live news story and the students rose to the challenge fantastically. The best way to learn is to do and the students delivered in spades.”

Ironside went on to say that the former army major, who latterly worked for the Royal Army Educational Corps, was passionate about education and this might have influenced his choice of student interviewers.

Below is a video in which the students describe how they got their scoop and then published it on multiple platforms.


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