Prime Minister ‘very concerned’ after Mark Field mandhandles woman at City banquet
Film shows MP pushing Greenpeace activist against a pillar
21 June, 2019 — By Tom Foot
Mark Field on ministerial duties with the Sultan of Perak earlier this year
THE Prime Minister is “very concerned” with the Cities and Westminster MP who has been suspended for grabbing a Greenpeace protester and frogmarching her out of a black-tie banquet.
Conservative Mark Field, Theresa May’s minister for Asia and the Pacific, has apologised and referred himself to the cabinet office following last night’s (Thursday) outrage at the Chancellor’s annual Mansion House speech.
Mr Field was filmed pushing the woman into a pillar before aggressively walking her out of the Grade I listed building in the City.
A still from a film of last night’s protest
Mr Field said he was acting on “instinct” and had been worried that the woman could be armed, adding: “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.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond received loud cheers from the room full of Tories when he said the protest was “ironic” as the Government had recently made world-leading carbon commitments.
Greenpeace’s climate campaigner Areeba Hamid issued a statement saying the pace of climate change required more “radical” policy interventions and public investments.
Mansion House is the official home of the Lord Mayor of London. It is used for some of the City of London’s official functions.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The prime minister has seen the footage and she found it very concerning. The police have said they are looking into reports over this matter and Mark Field has also referred himself to both the Cabinet Office and the Conservative Party. He will be suspended as a minister while investigations take place.”
Mr Field – the son a British army major – has been a staunch loyalist to Theresa May throughout the EU negotiations, changing his original decision to vote for Remain to support her Brexit deal. He enjoys many trips abroad to Asia and Pacific in his role as minister.
At the height of the Extinction Rebellion protests in central London in April he wrote to Met Commissioner Cressida Dick urging her to take a “much firmer grip” on the activists.
Mr Field has held Cities and London seat since 2001, but was elected at the 2017 general election with a heavily-reduced majority. His opponent Labour’s Stephen Saxby described his actions last night as “unacceptable”.