Conservative suspended as UK Foreign Office minister after he physically attacked climate activist

Conservative suspended as UK Foreign Office minister after he physically attacked climate activist
Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/eu2017ee/37340820306

The United States isn’t the only English-speaking country where politicians can be loose cannons: in the U.K., Conservative MP Mark Field has been suspended from his position as a Foreign Office minister following a physical attack on a female Greenpeace activist.


In a video that has been posted on the Guardian’s website, Field can be seeing grabbing the protester by the neck at a June 20 dinner at London’s Mansion House and physically removing her from the event — and she can be heard saying, “It’s a peaceful protest.” Greenpeace activists disrupted the dinner in order to draw attention to the climate change crisis.

The 54-year-old Field has said he feared the Greenpeace protestor might have been armed; regardless, outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May (who is also a member of the Conservative Party) decided to suspend Field after watching the video.

In an official statement, a spokesperson for May noted, “The police have said they are looking into reports over this matter,” adding that Field “will be suspended as a minister while this investigation takes place.”

Members of the Labour Party, which is presently headed by liberal/progressive Jeremy Corbyn, have asserted that Field’s suspension is not enough and are calling for his resignation. Labour Party MP Dawn Butler, who has served as Shadow Women & Equalities secretary since 2017, described the video as “horrific.”

Field has apologized yet maintains that he acted “instinctively” and was concerned about the safety of those attending the dinner.

“I deeply regret this episode and unreservedly apologize to the lady concerned for grabbing her,” Field said. “But in the current climate, I felt I needed to act decisively to close down the threat to the safety of those present.”

Greenpeace activists are known for nonviolent protests and peaceful acts of civil disobedience.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.