Solicitor Mark Field, the Conservative Member of Parliament for London and Westminster, is under fire after footage emerged of him manhandling a female environmental protester at a formal dinner.
Field can be seen pushing the woman against a pillar before grabbing her by the back of her neck.
In this longer version of the video, you can see the woman apparently posing no immediate threat as she passes behind Mark Field. He marches her out of the room by her neck. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say she didn’t pose a risk, but it looks heavy handed. pic.twitter.com/zX2BtcPW4t
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) June 20, 2019
The police are looking into the incident, which happened on Thursday night in the midst of a speech at Mansion House by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, after receiving a number of reports of assault. Field has now been suspended as a Foreign Office minister.
Field trained at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the 1990s before running his own legal recruitment business, Kellyfield Consulting, until he was elected to Parliament in 2001. In a statement, he apologised for the incident and said he had referred himself to the Cabinet Office to “examine if there has been a breach of the ministerial code and will of course cooperate fully with their investigation”.
A series of solicitor Members of Parliament have found themselves in trouble over their behaviour in the past two years.
In late 2017 Charlie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover and formerly a partner at Reed Smith and Hunton & Williams, had the whip suspended after he was accused of sex offences against two members of his staff. He is protesting his innocence and is subject to an ongoing investigation; the Conservative Party has restored the whip.
Then in 2018 Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya, once of Eversheds and Howes Percival, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice for lying to police to avoid being prosecuted for speeding. She was expelled from the Labour Party and sentenced to three months in prison, later being recalled from Parliament, sparking the recent Peterborough by-election.