Mark Field: Sir Peter Bottomley demands apology from Greenpeace after minister suspended for grabbing activist

Sir Peter Bottomley
Sir Peter Bottomley

Worthing MP Sir Peter Bottomley has doubled down on his defence of suspended Foreign Office minister Mark Field.

Mr Field was suspended from the Conservative party this morning after footage emerged of him grabbing a Greenpeace protester by the neck and forcefully leading her out of a speech by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.

Sir Peter appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme this morning (June 21) to defend Mr Field and the 74-year-old has spoken to the Herald to back up his comments, suggesting climate change protesters would have been better off listening to the speeches rather than demonstrating.

“During interviews today, I have asked Greenpeace and Labour what the Bank of England said about climate change [in the governor's speech]," said Sir Peter, who added he had been talking about the subject all day.

"The Greenpeace protest ruined the most important speech on climate change by the governor of the Bank of England. Greenpeace should say sorry.

"The facts are that one protester came much closer to the governor of the Bank of England and the Chancellor of the Exchequer than the others who were further back. Somebody had to stop this person and reverse their direction and escort them out. Mark Field did.

"If I would have been there I would have done the same thing.

“People say let's leave these things to the police and to security, but I argue if each of us do our bit there would be fewer protests.

“Really, people who care about climate change should read the 21 paragraphs from the governor of the Bank of England.

“I hope that Mark Field is cleared and back soon.”

Sir Peter added that although the climate change protester claimed to be peaceful, 'the person who murdered Jo Cox would have said the same thing'. The protester could have had acid or some other weapon in her bag, he added, justifying Mr Field's decision to act.