Cities of London and Westminster MP Mark Field has faced an onslaught of criticism for the way in which he removed a protester at Mansion House last night. He has now apologised for grabbing the protestor “firmly” and referred himself to the Cabinet Office for investigation, but tells ITV’s Paul Brand:
“A major security breach occurred at the dinner I attended last night when a large number of protesters suddenly and noisily stormed into Mansion House. 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. In view of the publicity around this incident I am referring myself to the Cabinet Office to examine whether there has been a breach of the ministerial code, and will of course cooperate fully with their investigation.”
Field was meant to be on Radio 4’s the 7.10 slot this morning but has now mysteriously been replaced by Johnny Mercer…
For what it’s worth, this was a protester who had breached security and was reportedly heading straight for the Chancellor just three years after an MP had been assassinated. Should she have been allowed to get to him..?