A British Foreign Office minister has been suspended from his post after he forcefully grabbed a female climate change protester at an event in London.
The action has been taken against Conservative MP Mark Field after a video of him pushing the woman against a pillar and grabbing her by the back of the neck was shared online.
The woman was one of 40 Greenpeace protesters who had gatecrashed a blacktie dinner ahead of speeches by the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
WATCH: Conservative MP Mark Field shoves a protestor against a pillar then grabs her by her neck and shoves her out of the Mansion House dinner after climate change protestors interrupted the banquet. pic.twitter.com/DFwZYxROfF
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) June 20, 2019
The footage led to calls for Mr Field to be sacked, with the UK Labour Party branding the video "horrific."
A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she seen the footage of the incident and "found it very concerning."
He has apologised to the woman but insisted that he was "genuinely worried she might have been armed."
"I deeply regret this episode and unreservedly apologise 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," he said.
He said he was referring himself to the Cabinet office to establish whether he had breached the "ministerial code."
Update on Greenpeace activist at the Mansion house peaceful protest: She's had a good sleep and is doing fine. We're looking after her. Thanks so much for your love and concern everyone. We're sharing positive messages with her.
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) June 21, 2019
Greenpeace said the incident amounted to assault on a female peaceful protester.
"I don't see any justification for the kind of violent behaviour we saw from him last night," said spokesperson Rebecca Newsom.
"It's an extremely shocking and concerning state of affairs.
"I think the Conservative Party and he personally need to look hard into this and actually review whether that kind of behaviour is appropriate for anyone let alone somebody in public office."
I'm sure I'm not the only one who is wondering why no one intervened. So much violence does not seem justified.
An investigation needs to take place as soon as possible. https://t.co/0OjuAz8dZo
— Dawn Butler MP✊🏾💙 (@DawnButlerBrent) June 20, 2019
Labour MP Dawn Butler described the footage as "horrific."
"He must be immediately suspended or sacked due to violence against women," she said.
"I'm sure I'm not the only one who is wondering why no one intervened. So much violence does not seem justified. An investigation needs to take place as soon as possible."
I agree with @vickyford . In this age where politicians have been murdered, jokes are made about throwing acid at us and we have all been threatened , no one knows what her motives were.
If she had been carrying a weapon @MarkFieldUK would be hailed a hero now. https://t.co/tqLp15JypH
— Maria Caulfield MP (@mariacaulfield) June 21, 2019
However, Conservative MP Maria Caufield tweeted: "In this age where politicians have been murdered, jokes are made about throwing acid at us and we have all been threatened, no one knows what her motives were.
"If she had been carrying a weapon Mark Field would be hailed a hero now."
City of London Police said they were looking into a "small number" of third-party reports of an assault at the Mansion House event.
BREAKING: activists just drowned out @PhilipHammondUK’s #MansionHouse speech with #ClimateEmergency alarms going off on live TV!
Our climate is breaking down. Business as usual is over. More footage coming soon pic.twitter.com/8fZeCbiUVt
— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) June 20, 2019