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Conservative MP appears to shove protester into pillar after climate change organization interrupts high-profile speech

Business Insider | Jun 21, 2019, 05.34AM IST

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Associated Press

Britain's Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field.

  • Climate change protesters wearing red gowns and sashes reading "climate emergency" interrupted a high-profile political event in London on Thursday.
  • Several women, members of the environmental group Greenpeace, stormed into the landmark Mansion House building in London during a banquet.
  • A recent Twitter post showed footage of Mark Field, Britain's Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, appearing to grab a passing protester and push her into a pillar, before escorting her out with his hand on the back of her neck.
  • Greenpeace took to Twitter to respond to the video of Field and the protester, saying that he should spend time "tackling the #ClimateEmergency" rather than "assaulting peaceful women protesters."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Climate change protesters wearing red gowns and sashes that say "climate emergency" interrupted a high-profile political event in London on Thursday.

Several women, members of the environmental group Greenpeace, stormed into the landmark Mansion House building in London during a banquet where British Chancellor Philip Hammond was giving a speech.

A recent Twitter post by ITV News showed footage of Mark Field, Britain's Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, appearing to grab a passing protester and push her into the pillar, before escorting her out with his hand on the back of her neck. INSIDER contacted Field's office for comment and will update as necessary.

In a video published by the BBC of the speech, alarms could be heard and a resounding voice from the organization said, "Business as usual is over." According to the BBC, City of London Police were called and escorted the protesters from the premises. No arrests were made.

Yahoo News UKreported that 40 protesters were in attendance.

Read more: Teenage climate change protesters target Britain's parliament

"The real bottom line, the priority that needs to come before all others, is not profit, revenue or growth, but survival," Areeba Hamid, a Climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said to the BBC. "That needs to be recognised in every boardroom and on every balance sheet, starting with the chancellor's."

Labour MPs Dawn Butler and Tonia Antoniazzi tweeted in response to the incident.

According to a Tweet posted by Press Association correspondent Jennifer McKiernan, Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley told her that Field "had done nothing wrong in his ejection" and "the woman clearly was trying to create a fuss."

Ross Kempsell, political editor at talkRADIO, shared a Tweet with an April letter sent by Field to the Metropolitan Police Service demanding "a much firmer grip" on climate change protesters.

"I, of course, appreciate and respect the right to peaceful protest as a key part of our democratic tradition, and, as a Foreign Office Minister whose portfolio covers climate change, know better than most the pressing need to address this most serious of issues," Field wrote in the letter.

Greenpeace took to Twitter to respond to the video of Field and the protester, saying that he should spend time "tackling the #ClimateEmergency" rather than "assaulting peaceful women protesters."

After the women were ejected from the building, Hammond was met with applause as he continued his speech.

"The irony of course is that this is the government that has just led the world by committing to a zero-carbon economy," he said in response to the interruption.

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