04:32 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A screenshot of the video of Mark Field appearing to grab a female protester by her neck and haul her away

    Conservative UK Cabinet Minister May Lose His Job for Manhandling Female Activist (Video)

    © Photo: BBC Newsnight/twitter
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    A high-profile UK official is facing a ferocious backlash after footage emerged of him appearing to march a female climate change protester out of a lavish dinner, grabbing her by her neck. He says he acted tough because feared the woman might have been armed.

    Around 40 Greenpeace activists gate-crashed a speech by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on the state of the economy at an annual dinner for City of London grandees on Thursday night.

    Mark Field, a Conservative MP and Foreign Office Minister for Asia and the Pacific, was caught on live TV grabbing a female protester who was passing his chair, pinning her against a pillar and then marching her out of the room by her neck.

    The MP, 54, can be heard saying: "Can you get this person out?”

    Greenpeace has accused Field of assault, while opposition politicians were quick to demand his resignation.

    “No one who reacts like this to a peaceful protest should be sitting in our parliament,” said Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi.

    Dawn Butler, also from the Labour Party, said: “This appears to be [an] assault. He must be immediately suspended or sacked”.

    Some people, including his fellow party members, leapt to the volunteer bouncer's defence.

    Conservative MP Peter said the woman was “trying to create a fuss” and qualified Field’s actions as a “reversal of direction” rather than an assault.

    Mark Field referred himself to the Cabinet Office to investigate whether there had been a breach of the code of conduct.

    He said he “deeply regrets” what happened and publicly apologised to the protester for grabbing her but explained that he acted tough with her because there was no security present at the venue and he was worried she could have been armed.

    Tags:
    United Kingdom, assault, Greenpeace, protester
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