United Kingdom Foreign Office minister Mark Field is in the eye of a storm after he was filmed grabbing and pushing a female activist out of an event.
Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organisation has accused the Minister of assaulting an activist during the Thursday night black tie event.
The incident was captured by cameras and widely circulated, drawing a barrage of criticism against Field.
Field has since apologised for grabbing the protester after climate change protesters disrupted the beginning of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s annual Mansion House speech to the City about the state of the UK economy.
Greenpeace said dozens of activists – dressed in suits, red dresses and sashes – “gatecrashed” the dinner and refused to leave.
On his part, Field said he reacted “instinctively” and has referred himself to the Cabinet Office for an investigation.
Field is seen getting out of his seat and stopping one female protester by pushing her against a column and then marching her out of the room.
The Conservative Party said it will investigate the incident.
According to Greenpeace, the victim was reportedly in shock but recovering after the incident.
Said climate campaigner Areeba Hamid on the incident : “I think Mark Field should have a long hard stare at himself and think whether that behaviour is in keeping with someone in public office,” she said.
“We went into that event announcing who we were very clearly, we were there to make a very important point – that we are in a climate emergency – to a roomful of people who are actually capable of making some very profound decisions.”
She said there was no intention to harm anyone and that the activist is trained and experienced in non-violent direct action.
Greenpeace activists were prepared to face legal consequences for their actions, Hamid said, but were not anticipating any violent confrontation, especially from a Minister.