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Tory MP Mark Field under fire after grabbing protester by neck | UK News



MPs have called for the suspension of a minister after he was filmed forcefully grabbing a climate change protester who gatecrashed an event at London’s Mansion House.

Bankers and politicians had gathered at the event last night to hear speeches by Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney.

But just as the speeches began, 40 protesters from Greenpeace entered the room, dressed in red.

As one of the women walked past Foreign Office minister and Tory MP Mark Field, he stood, pushed her against a nearby pillar and grabbed her neck before appearing to push her out of the room.

Labour MP Dawn Butler, who is shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, described footage of the incident as “horrific”.

Climate change protesters at the Mansion House
The protest lasted several minutes

She tweeted: “He must be immediately suspended or sacked. Due to violence against women.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one who is wondering why no one intervened. So much violence does not seem justified. An investigation needs to take place as soon as possible.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: “[The protester] posed no credible threat from what I can see.

“There is very little else that could justify this and anyone can see that this could have been done without physical contact.

“Every MP has to deal with protest and conflict, it is done with words. To watch this is so so awful.”

Climate change protesters
The Chancellor had barely started his address when the activists interrupted

Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna described Mr Field’s actions as “totally unacceptable”, while independent MP Sarah Wollaston said it was “absolutely shameful, a male MP marching a woman out of a room by her neck”.

But Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley said Mr Field had done nothing wrong, adding: “The woman clearly was trying to create a fuss.

“Most viewers would say it’s good that she didn’t succeed.”

When asked if Mr Field had been heavy-handed with the protester by grabbing her by the back of the neck, Sir Peter responded: “No, he reversed her direction and she looked as though she went willingly.

“I think there’s no reason to criticise Mark Field… of course it wasn’t an assault, it was a reversal of direction.”

Sky News political correspondent Rob Powell said: “I’m sure the defence may well be that he didn’t quite know what was going on and they could have posed a threat to the Chancellor.

“But, as you can see, it was pretty clear she wasn’t posing a threat there and he does appear to be grabbing her by the neck.”

Climate change protesters
40 protesters from Greenpeace were involved in the demonstration

Powell added that efforts to contact Mr Field for comment had so far been unsuccessful.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is Mr Field’s boss, was contacted for comment but responded with a text saying “sorry can’t talk now”.

A City of London Police spokesman said: “We have received a small number of third party reports of an assault taking place at the event.

“These reports are being looked into by police.”

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