Mark Field latest: Should minister be sacked? readers have their say

Posted on Jun 22 2019 - 2:14am by admin

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech was interrupted at Mansion House on Thursday evening by Greenpeace activists. Mr Field has since apologised “unreservedly” to the woman he confronted and confirmed he had referred himself to the Cabinet Office for investigation. And 86 per cent of readers (15,337 people) who voted in our poll said he should not be sacked over the confrontation.

But 14 per cent of voters (2,651 readers) in our exclusive online poll, which ran from 9.18am yesterday morning to 8.52pm yesterday evening, believe he should be sacked.

Mr Hammond was talking about the state of the UK economy when the protesters began chanting: “This is a climate emergency”.

Mr Field, who is the MP for Cities of London and Westminster, was seen pushing the woman against a column.

He then walked her out of the room with one hand firmly clamped to the back of her neck.

In a statement given to ITV, Mr Field said he “instinctively reacted”.

He said he was concerned the woman coulee be been armed.

Mr Field 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.

“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.”

Conservative MP, Sir Peter Bottomley, praised Mr Field’s actions.

He said: “He intervened – I congratulate him for that – I would have done the same.”

But Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi called for the MP to be sacked.

She said: “Mark Field should resign and be arrested. I don’t care in what order. 

“No one who reacts like this to a peaceful protest should be sitting in our parliament.” 

City of London Police said: “We have had a number of third-party reports of a possible assault. These are being looked into.”

Meanwhile, Greenpeace’s Hannah Martin called Mr Field’s reaction “completely disproportionate and unacceptable”.

She told BBC Radio Four that none of the other guests at the dinner “felt the need to assault” the woman.

She said: “So what was clear is that she had leaflets in her hand, she was aiming to hand out copies of the speech, and peacefully make our presence felt. 

“There were 350 other guests at that dinner. None of them felt the need to assault any of the other protesters in the way that Mark Filed did.”

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