City of London MP Mark Field is facing calls to resign this morning after a video emerged of him grabbing a climate change protester by the neck.
The foreign officer minister has referred himself to the Cabinet Office for investigation and police have confirmed they are looking into the incident.
Several Greenpeace activists stormed Mansion House last night to interrupt a speech being given by chancellor Philip Hammond.
In a video shared online Field is seen marching a female demonstrator out of the room by her neck. The charity has accused Field of assault.
“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,” Field said in a statement to ITV.
“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,” he said.
Dawn Butler, the shadow women and equalities secretary, called for Field to be sacked.
“He must be immediately suspended or sacked due to violence against women,” she wrote on Twitter.
However, some people have defended Field’s actions, saying the MP was attempting to protect himself and other guests from a potential threat.
Tom Sleigh, councillor for Bishopsgate, wrote on Twitter: “I’m uncomfortable with the baying for Mark Field’s blood.
“I was there. I remember being worried and confused when protesters crashed a room full of guests and senior politicians. But most of us would have remembered that people try to kill MPs.”
City of London police said it was called to Mansion House by security staff after protesters entered the event. No arrests were made.
“We have received a small number of third party reports of an assault taking place at the event. These reports are being looked into by police,” a police spokesperson said.