TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The UK government minister Mark Field has been suspended by Theresa May after a video went viral showing him grabbing a climate change protester by the neck and shoving her against a pillar.
According to footage obtained by ITV News, Field grabbed one of the women who was walking towards the stage and held her by the neck, shoving her against a column, Business Insider reported.
He is then seen marching her out of the room while maintaining a grip on her neck.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister May confirmed that she had suspended Field from his role in government while an investigation into the incident takes place.
“The Prime Minister has seen the footage and she found it very concerning,” they said.
Prior to being suspended, Field apologized and said he had referred himself for an official government investigation into his conduct.
“I deeply regret this episode and unreservedly apologize 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.
Conservative Party chair Brandon Lewis said the footage was “very hard to defend.”
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Lewis said: “It’s hard for anybody to look at that and not be astonished at what they have seen.”
City of London police, whose jurisdiction covers the Mansion House building, said they were investigating a “small number of third party reports” related to the incident.
They added: “These reports are being looked into.”
Field’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.