After a foreign office minister physically removed a female climate protester from his banquet by the neck, Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley said he ‘congratulates’ him.
The comments come after Greenpeace protesters dressed in formal wear infiltrated a dinner at Mansion House, where chancellor Phillip Hammond was giving a speech to the City.
Video footage of the scene shows a woman moving past Mark Field’s chair, whereupon he got up, pushed her against a pillar and marched her out of the way with his hand on the back of her neck.
Field has apologised “unreservedly” and has referred himself to the cabinet office for investigation.
The incident has prompted complaints to police.
"Although she may have been harmless, others won't be"— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) June 21, 2019
Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley defends the Foreign Office minister Mark Field who has come under fire, after footage showed him physically removing a climate change protester from a City dinner pic.twitter.com/IBXZ5OpUlA
However, Sir Bottomley told BBC Breakfast that Field was to be congratulated for his reaction.
He said: “He intervened. I congratulate him for that. I would have done the same. And although she may have been harmless, others won’t be. I’ll give you one example, I’m not going to repeat it again, there are people who are assaulted.”
He said that one MP’s case worker had been killed by an intruder, most likely referring to the 2000 killing of Andy Pennington, who worked for Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.
Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer said on Twitter that people should “calm down” about Field’s actions and that the MP had “panicked”. “Honestly? Try being in our shoes in the current environment,” he said.
Honestly? Try being in our shoes in the current environment.— Johnny Mercer MP (@JohnnyMercerUK) June 21, 2019
He panicked, he's not trained in restraint and arrest, and if you think this is 'serious violence', you may need to recalibrate your sensitivities. Calm down, move on, and be thankful this wasn't worse. https://t.co/ALMQMDh4Ya
Guardian political correspondent Peter Walker compared the incident to when Esther McVey’s leadership launch bid was interrupted by a visibly angry Brexiteer protester.
WATCH: Esther McVey’s launch event stormed by angry protester shouting ‘fake Tories’In this instance, despite shouting loudly and gesticulating, the man was not received violently by the three people who got up to face him.
McVey stayed in her chair and called out: “Give him a round of applause, ladies and gentlemen,” when the man was ushered out to a slow hand clap.
For those who argue Mark Field was justified in his actions as the woman could have been a threat, worth noting there were several Tory MPs at Esther McVey's leadership launch when this - genuinely very furious - man stormed the stage. He was barely touched. pic.twitter.com/cmtmSaarnB— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) June 21, 2019
Notable how many Tories defending Mark Field on the basis that 'she could have been armed' just sat there when that comedian approached May during her conference speech. And when I say 'how many', I mean: it was literally all of them. All of them just sat there.— Marina Hyde (@MarinaHyde) June 21, 2019