Eric Joyce, 51, Denies Claims Of Fling With Schoolgirl Meg Lauder, 17

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An MP suspended from the Labour Party after being charged with assault has denied claims he had a relationship with a schoolgirl.

Meg Lauder, now 19, claimed she had a brief fling with Mr Joyce during the run-up to the May 2010 General Election while she was volunteering at his Falkirk constituency.

In an interview with the Scottish Sun, she claimed that they kissed and that he asked her to remove her school tie when she met him while wearing her school uniform because "it freaked him out because it reminded him how young I was".

She told the newspaper that they allegedly first kissed when he started playing with the belt of her coat in his office.

She said: "He pulled my belt towards him and said, 'I think we are about to behave very badly', then he kissed me. He was trying to sound seductive.

"His hands were around my waist, It was a lingering kiss.

"I didn't want it to happen. I was a bit repulsed. He wasn't this sex bomb he was trying to portray himself as."

Mr Joyce, 51, denied claims that they kissed.

He said; "That's not true, that's simply not true."

He added: "I have looked at The Sun and there is a lot of stuff that's basically horribly untrue and that's the only comment I have.

"I knew her only for that period of my election campaign and that's it."

Labour withdrew the whip from Mr Joyce after he was charged with three counts of assault in connection with an alleged incident in an MPs' bar in the House of Commons on February 22.

He is due to appear in court on March 9.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont was questioned about her views on Mr Joyce when she appeared on the BBC Sunday Politics show today.

Asked whether she thinks he should stand down before the next election, the MP having said he will not contest it, she replied: "I have been very clear that Eric Joyce, and the allegations made against him I believe is an absolute breach of trust and authority and abuse of his position and my view in light of that, he's not fit to be a Labour candidate or a Labour MP. We cannot make him stand down.

"We cannot make him stand down, I think people would be expecting him however to do the right thing."

She added: "I think the people of Falkirk deserve a representative who can work on their behalf and reach the standards we would expect of somebody in elected position."

Asked whether he should stand down, she told the programme: "It's my view that he should stand down but it's also a recognition that's not in my gift of control to determine. I believe that his actions are those that are not fit for someone to represent people in the House of Commons."

She said that she has not spoken to Mr Joyce.

Asked how she had satisfied herself as to his version of events before she makes a decision saying that he should stand down now, she replied: "If the allegations are true in my view he is not fit to be a Labour candidate or to be a Labour MP."

Filed by Sara C Nelson