The UK junior Foreign Office Minister has been suspended after a scuffle with a ‘climate’ protester. The altercation took place when close to forty Greenpeace activists, most of them women, stormed a black-tie dinner in Central London.

Mark Field, UK Foreign Office Minister for Asia and the Pacific, was filmed escorting out a female protester by “holding her at the back of the neck” late Thursday, the Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported.

Field acknowledged acting in self-defense as the female activist approached him from behind at the dinner table, claiming to have “grasped the intruder firmly in order to remove her from the room as swiftly as possible.” He added that he felt he “needed to act decisively to close down the threat to the safety of those present.”

The Greenpeace activists tried to frame it as a gender issue. “There’s nothing like a female led peaceful protest to bring out the true character of an entitled man,” tweeted Hannah Martin, one of the activist involved in the incident. “We’re not going to let them crash the climate 10 years later,” she added.

The activists also complained “disproportionate reactions from different guests” against those crashing the private event. Prime Minister Theresa May promised a high-level government inquiry into the incident.

BBC reported the details of the altercation:

Climate change protesters – wearing suits, red dresses and sashes with “climate emergency” written on them – entered Mansion House on Thursday night, as Mr Hammond was beginning his speech on the state of the economy.

One of them began reading an alternative speech.

As Ms Barker walked past his table, Mr Field stood up, stopped her and pushed her against a column.

The Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster then put a hand on the back of her neck and led her out of the room.

The UK feminists were quick to pounce on the minister decrying ‘violence against women.’ Minister’s actions point to a “worrying trend in social attitudes towards violence against women,” British newspaper The Guardian wrote citing feminist groups.

“It’s part of the messages women get all the time about our worth, who has power and who the state is protecting,” the spokeswomen for a leading UK women’s group said, adding that “male violence against women is endemic and too many women have experienced first-hand the indignant fury we all witnessed in Field’s behavior.”

The incident took place in the backdrop of a series of assaults on British right-wing politicians in recent weeks. The prominent Islam critic Tommy Robinson and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage have been doused with milkshakes. Many liberals cheered this phenomena dubbed as ‘milkshaking,’ calling this a form of ‘resistance’ against public figures on the right.

[Cover image via YouTube]


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