A Grim Three Days For Women In UK Politics - From Boris Johnson To Mark Field

Jasmin Gray
Boris Johnson 

Over the past three days, the news in UK has been dominated by male Tory MPs and their interactions with women. 

From Mark Field’s manhandling of a Greenpeace protester at a black-tie dinner on Thursday, to police being called to Boris Johnson’s home with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds over a domestic row, it has been a tense few days. 

Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, told HuffPost UK on Monday that the fact some Tory MPs had leapt to defend both Field and Johnson “shows an unforgivable disregard for gendered violence, amounting to apologism”. 

“We don’t know what occurred between Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on Thursday night but by downplaying that incident Tory MPs are reinforcing the dangerous idea that we don’t have a collective responsibility to challenge male aggression when it occurs,” she said, adding that we live in a society that “normalises male violence”. 

But what exactly happened this weekend – and how did some Tory MPs react? 


Late on Thursday night, footage emerged of Tory MP Mark Field grabbing a female Greenpeace protester who had interrupted a speech by Chancellor Philip Hammond at a black-tie City dinner. 

The video – filmed at the annual Mansion House speech – showed Field shoving the climate change activist against a pillar before holding her by the neck and pushing her out of the room. 

A call of “Jeez... what?” could be heard on the video as the woman – later identified as 38-year-old Janet Barker – was removed from the banquet hall. 


Cities of London and Westminster MP Mark Field 

As you might expect, the news on Friday morning was dominated by discussion of the incident, with Labour calling for Field to resign. 

While the party’s equalities minister Dawn Butler described the moment as “horrific”, calling for the Tory MP to be sacked “due to violence against women”, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Violence against women is endemic in our society and this behaviour is unacceptable. He should...

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