When the Conservative MP Mark Field leapt from his chair, pushed a female Greenpeace protester against a pillar, gripped the back of her neck and then manhandled her out of a Mansion House banquet in June, he probably did not anticipate the headlines. Janet Barker, the climate emergency activist, was not alone in being stunned at his hot-headed actions. When TV footage emerged capturing Field’s ferocious look as he propelled Barker roughly towards the exit, it unleashed a formidable backlash. The image of male physical dominance over a slightly built female, attired in an elegant red evening gown and wearing a climate emergency sash, triggered anger, disbelief and the immediate suspension of Field as a foreign office minister in Theresa May’s government. Field’s reputation was certainly not enhanced when Barker, with red marks still visible on her upper arm, told the Guardian the following day that the parliamentarian had shoved her into the street with the words: “This is what happens when people like you disturb our dinner.” Six months on, Barker, 40, says that although she was “surprised and shocked ” by the incident at the time, it really hit her afterwards when she saw the footage. “It’s strange…. Read full this story
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