Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Mark Field: Conduct Unbecoming

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 21st June, 2019

Mark Field Mansion HouseThe Chancellor of the Exchequer’s annual speech to the City of London at the Mansion House last night was interrupted by Climate Emergency protesters. But that demonstration was eclipsed by the extraordinary behaviour of the local MP — and Minister of State at the Foreign Office — Mark Field, who rose from his seat to grab a young woman protestor in a long red dress, slamming her against a pillar and then  frogmarching her out of the Egyptian Hall with his hand round her neck. Other guests at the black tie dinner sat rooted in their places as if they could not quite believe what was happening and when a clip of the incident was shown shortly afterwards on BBC’s Newsnight, presenter Kirsty Wark was visibly shaken. Little surprise, perhaps, that overnight there were calls for Mr Field to resign; this morning he has been suspended as a Minister, pending an inquiry.

What makes the affair all the more remarkable is that in his ministerial role, Mark Field has defended the right of demonstrators in Hong Kong and Myanmar and other places in his Asian ministerial bailiwick to protest peacefully and he has criticised the high-handed tactics of some countries’ security forces. Yet his own behaviour was shockingly aggressive against a woman who posed no physical threat to anyone. This comes at a time when violence and intimidation have become more common in the political arena in Britain. At times there have been ugly scenes outside the Houses of Parliament, when MPs have been jostled or threatened and rhetoric has got ever more extreme in the wake of the 2016 EU Referendum. Last Sunday marked the third anniversary of he assassination of Jo Cox MP, who had worked so hard to bring harmony where there was discord. It is essential that this trend towards intolerance and aggression is reversed if Britain’s democracy is to avoid being permanently tainted. And that means no conduct unbecoming by MPs as well.

3 Responses to “Mark Field: Conduct Unbecoming”

  1. I’m not sure that we should trusst Mr Field.

  2. Yeovil Yokel said

    Mark Field should receive a bravery award: he selflessly acted to defend his peer group from a protester who may have had a Kalashnikov concealed under her figure-hugging dress.

  3. wg said

    I remember an elderly man being whisked away by a pair of very efficient and seemingly well-trained thugs when the gentleman had the audacity to throw a question at Nick Clegg.
    It was reminiscent of something dreamed up in The Omen – with Clegg as Damien.

    It is of course known that certain members of the EU aristocracy are afforded – at tax payers expense – a fleet of cars driven by security chauffeurs: protection for the few, it seems.

    I feel more ‘Sovietised’ by the day – with the Liberal Democrats being at the head of the re-education squad.

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