The independent London newspaper

Day of action will call for ousting of Tory MP Field

Apology to protester after Mansion House incident

28 June, 2019 — By Tom Foot

MP Mark Field and Greenpeace protester Janet Barker. Photo: ITV NEWS

A “MARK Field Out” day of action has been called after the Cities of London & Westminster MP manhandled a Greenpeace protester at a black-tie dinner.

The demonstration tom­orrow (Saturday) outside Pimlico station, has been organised by Westminster’s Labour group on the back of “shocking and violent” behaviour to­wards a climate change activist.

Mr Field has been suspended by the Conservative Party pending an investigation after he was filmed shoving a woman against a pillar in Mansion House last Thursday. He frogmarched her out while holding the back of her neck. Mr Field has expressed deep regret and apologised “unreservedly” for “grabbing her”, add­ing: “But in the current climate I felt the need to act decisively to close down the threat to the safety of those present.”

Prime minister Theresa May, however, said she is “very concerned” about the actions of her minister for Asia and the Pacific who has stood loyally by her throughout the Brexit parliamentary process.

Stev­en Saxby

Protest organiser Stev­en Saxby, the Labour candidate for Cities of London & Westminster, said: “I share the horror of constituents at Mark Field’s shocking use of violence on a woman peacefully raising awareness of the climate emergency. He should resign as MP now.”

Mr Field has held the previously seat since the 2001 general election. His majority was slashed to just over 3,000 votes at the last election.

In April, during Extinction Rebellion protests in the West End, Mr Field wrote to Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick calling on her to get a “much firmer grip” on the protests that he said had gone too far.

In January Mr Field wrote to 20 “separate company leaders” operating large vehicle fleets in London calling on them “to pledge their public support to Westminster City Council’s Don’t Be Idle campaign”.

Mr Field’s actions last Thursday night at the chancellor’s annual financial address in the City, has been defended by many of his colleagues.

Janet Barker, the protester, has told national media her group made it clear why they were there and it was a peaceful protest; she suggested Mr Field attend anger management classes.

On Thursday Mr Field’s statement said: “There was no security present and I was for a split-second genuinely worried she might have been armed.

“As a result I grasped the intruder firmly in order to remove her from the room as swiftly as possible. I deeply regret this episode and unreservedly apologise to the lady concerned for grabbing her – but in the current climate I felt the need to act decisively to close down the threat to the safety of those present.”

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