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Tory MP Mark Field Suspended After Physically Removing Protester From Mansion House
21 June 2019, 11:25 | Updated: 21 June 2019, 11:31
Conservative MP Mark Field has been suspended as a Minister while investigations take place into an incident in which he physically removed a protester from a black tie event last night.
The Tory referred himself to the Cabinet Office after being filmed physically removing a climate change protester who disrupted a speech by Philip Hammond at Mansion House.
Footage of the incident shows the moment a Greenpeace protester tries to walk past where the MP is sat, who pushed her against a pillar before grabbing her neck and pushing her out of the room.
Mr Field intervened when Philip Hammond's speech in the City of London was disrupted by 40 Greenpeace activists wearing red, and has since referred himself to the Cabinet Office and has apologised "unreservedly" to the protester.
The City of London Police are investigating the incident after receiving "a small number of third party reports of an assault" taking place at the event.
In a statement, Mr Field said: "A major security breach occurred at the dinner I attended last night when a large number of protesters suddenly and noisily stormed into Mansion House.
"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.
"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.
"In view of the publicity around this incident I am referring myself to the Cabinet Office to examine whether there has been a breach of the ministerial code, and will of course cooperate fully with their investigation."
Dozens of protesters "gatecrashed" the black tie dinner before police arrived to "help with their ejection".
"Once in the presence of the police, the protesters were co-operative and left the premises. No arrests were made," a statement said.
As he continued his speech, Mr Hammond said: "The irony is that this is the government that has just led the world by committing to a zero carbon economy by 2050."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan responded to the incident on Twitter, describing Mr Fields' actions are "truly shocking" and said he welcomes the City of London Police's investigation.
"It is truly shocking to see this kind of behaviour from an MP," he said.
"Violence against women is endemic in our society and this behaviour is unacceptable. He should consider his position.
"I welcome the fact the City of London Police are looking into this incident."
Watch in the video above.