Mark Field ‘should be praised’ over protester removal

Mark Field ‘should be praised’ over protester removal, says Tory MP

Friday, June 21, 2019

Conservative MP Peter Bottomley has praised Foreign Office minister Mark Field for removing a protester from a dinner in London on Thursday night.

Mr Field stopped the protester by pushing her against a column then holding her at the back of the neck and forcefully walking her out of the room at Mansion House.

He has been suspended as a minister while investigations take place into the Mansion House incident, Downing Street said.

Climate change activists had interrupted the black-tie event where chancellor Philip Hammond was giving a speech.

Mr Bottomley told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “He should be praised. The serious side of this is MPs are under threat. My wife and I don’t really talk about it but when she was in the ministry she was badly assaulted by a woman.

“So the idea that you can only be assaulted by a man, and women don’t do that, is wrong."

Mr Bottomley suggested that if Mr Hammond's close protection officer had ejected the protester he would not have been criticised.

“I think what Mr Field did would be regarded as common sense, sensible and proportionate by virtually everyone who has seen it," he said.

Labour MP Dawn Butler called the incident "horrific" and accused the Conservative MP of "violence against women".

The shadow women and equalities secretary added: “This appears to be assault. He must be immediately suspended or sacked.”

The Foreign Office minister has referred himself to the Cabinet Office for investigation and apologised "unreservedly" to the protester.

In a statement, he said: "In the confusion many guests understandably felt threatened and when one protester rushed past me towards the top table I instinctively reacted.

"There was no security present and I was for a split-second genuinely worried she might have been armed."

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