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  • Minister Mark Field explained his violent behavior saying he believed the woman was armed.

    Minister Mark Field explained his violent behavior saying he believed the woman was armed. | Photo: Twitter

Published 21 June 2019

Female activist, Janet Barker, was passing behind the minster's chair when he whirled around, seized her by the throat, and slammed her against a pole.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May suspended Foreign Office Minister Mark Field after he publicly manhandled a female Greenpeace protester during Thursday night’s Mansion House speech.

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"The Prime Minister has seen the footage and found it very concerning. The police have said they are looking into reports over this matter and Mark Field has also referred himself to both the Cabinet Office and Conservative Party," the Prime Minister's spokesperson told CNN.

"He will be suspended as minister while the investigation takes place," the spokesperson said.

A group of Greenpeace protesters dressed in red and adorned with sashes with the words “climate emergency,” crashed Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech Thursday.

A viral video shows female activist, Janet Barker, was passing behind Field's chair, when he whirled around, seized her by the throat, slammed her against a pole and marched her out of the building.

He later apologized for the violent assault, saying he was concerned over the lack of security and feared she was 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 apologize 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.

Barker said, “I had a phone and a tiny handbag, which was open and full of leaflets. The only thing I was armed with was peer-reviewed science.”

On Twitter, Labour Party lawmaker Dawn Butler wrote, “This is horrific. Conservative Foreign Office Minister Mark Field violently grabs a woman as she protests about climate change at the bankers' banquet."

ITV News' political correspondent Paul Brand also tweeted, "If ever there was an image that sums up the Conservative Party's disconnect with the younger generation right now it's a man in black tie at an elite dinner grabbing a climate change protestor by her neck."

She said she won’t be pressing charges, but that he would be judged in the court of opinion and recommended Field take anger management classes.

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