Shami Chakrabarti: Tories must suspend Mark Field
A Tory MP facing fierce criticism after he appeared to assault a peaceful protestor should be suspended from the Conservative party, Labour's Shadow Attorney General has said.
Mark Field, the MP for Cities of London and Westminster, was caught on video as he pushed a female Greenpeace protestor and grabbed her by the neck to march her out of the room.
Field has already been suspended as a foreign office minister whilst his actions are investigated, however he remains a Conservative member of parliament.
A video of the incident has went viral online, prompting outrage from politicians and commentators.
Shami Chakrabarti, Labour’s Shadow Labour’s Shadow Attorney General, said it was a "relief" that Field had been suspended as a minister, however she said he should also be suspended from the Conservative party pending the disciplinary process.
“The distressing camera footage clearly demonstrates that the Minister was not acting in self-defence and “acting instinctively” is no defence if your instincts come from a sense of entitlement and violent disdain for a young woman engaged in peaceful protest at a political event.
"Jeremy Hunt, Mark Field’s boss, has refused to condemn his actions and Boris Johnson remains silent. We have a right to know what the candidates to be our next Prime Minister think about the actions of a Foreign Minister, who should be setting a better example in relation to the treatment of women and protesters on the world stage.”
The City of London police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.
In a statement to ITV, Field said he had "acted instinctively" after guests felt threatened.
"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," he said.