Mr Field was due to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme at 7.10am this morning, but he pulled out at the last minute. Tory MP Johnny Mercer replaced him on the show, and did not comment on last night’s altercation involving his colleague. It is not yet know whether Mr Field dropped out of the programme as a result of the incident.
Footage of Mr Field forcefully grabbing a climate change protestor who disrupted chancellor Philip Hammond’s Mansion House speech emerged yesterday.
The Foreign Office minister claims he reacted “instinctively” and has referred himself to the Cabinet Office for an investigation.
He has apologised to the woman for “grabbing her”, but Greenpeace have accused Mr Field of assault – police are investigating the incident.
The altercation happened when 40 protestors from Greenpeace UK entered the room, dressed in red.
As one of the women walked past Mr Field, he pushed her against a nearby pillar and grabbed her neck before pushing her out of the room.
Greenpeace said its supporters, who wore red sashes emblazoned with the slogan “climate emergency”, had been planning to deliver their own speech.
Mr Field has been widely condemned for the incident, with many social media users calling for him to be sacked.
Labour MP Dawn Butler, who is shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, described the footage of the altercation as “horrific”.
She tweeted: “He must be immediately suspended or sacked.
“Due to violence against women.
“I’m sure I’m not the only one who is wondering why no one intervened.
“So much violence does not seem justified.
“An investigation needs to take place as soon as possible.”
Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna described Mr Field’s actions as “totally unacceptable”.
A City of London Police spokesman said: “We have received a small number of third party reports of an assault taking place at the event.
“These reports are being looked into by police.”
In a statement Mr Field said: “A major security breach occurred at the dinner I attended last night when a large number of protestors suddenly and noisily stormed into Mansion House.
“In the confusion many guests understandably felt threatened and when one protestor 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”.
The Chancellor’s Mansion House speech is an annual event attended by leading business figures, and addressed by the Chancellor and Governor of the Bank of England.
Published at Fri, 21 Jun 2019 06:36:00 +0000