Stephen Twigg, the openly gay former education minister has been fined £50 after being arrested for drunken behaviour.

Mr Twigg, was the first openly gay President of the National Union of Students and the first MP to have been elected as an out gay man. He lost his Enfield Southgate seat at the last election, but is hoping to return to Parliament in the very near future as one of Labour’s preferred parliamentary candidates.

His arrest on Orchard Street in the West End of London has been one of the first high profile cases of a fixed penalty fine being issued for drunkenness, a scheme proposed by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Mr Twigg who is the Director of the Foreign Policy Centre told the Times that he had been the worse for wear after an office Christmas party: “it’s very embarrassing. I feel like an idiot.”

The former minister was due to chair a seminar at Downing Street on the following morning but called in sick: “I said I wasn’t feeling good. That was true. I still feel a bit grim. I got back rather late and didn’t feel very good then. I went to bed and still didn’t feel too good. I thought it was probably a day to lie low.”

Mr Twigg who is regularly to be seen frequenting venues on the London gay scene says that his inability to hold his drink is not through lack of trying: “it is certainly not inexperience. I’ve drunk more than I should for a while.”