Our chair, Dr Rachel Keys, has written the following open letter to Sir Peter Bottomley after his comments defending Mark Field MP after last night’s incident involving a Greenpeace protestor at last night’s Mansion House Speech.

Mark Field: Sir Peter Bottomley defends suspended MP for grabbing Greenpeace activist by the neck

Sir Peter Bottomley,

We, the undersigned wish to express our strong objection to the remarks you made on Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, the 21st June 2019.

Freedom to dissent and peacefully protest is part of our democracy. To say that “Mark Field did what any sensible person would have done to difuse what could have been a tragic situation”, and “I would have done it and I think that most other diners there would have done the same” condones the disproportionate action taken by an member of parliament. From the video recording it is clear that the action taken by Mr Field was common assault and was not “just reversing her direction” as you have stated. He had his hand on her neck. From the expression on her face she did not look as if she went willingly. If someone had acted in the same way towards you what would your reaction have been? Would he have done the same to a male protestor?

It is our belief that a more acceptable response would have been to ask her to leave. If she refused, it would then be up to security personnel, who were presumably at the event, to deal with. By condoning and excusing the actions taken by Mr Field, against a Greenpeace protestor, you appear to be normalising vigilante type behaviour.

The precedent set if this assault is accepted is deeply worrying for society in general. The rise in misogyny, highlighted by the public policing of women’s behaviour should be concerning to all those holding a public office.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Rachel Keys, Worthing West CLP Chair

Steph Powell, Worthing West CLP Vice Chair

Cllr Helen Silman

Jo Bayly

Sam Theodoridi, Worthing West CLP Trade Union Liaison

Andrew Theodoridi

Peggy Harris

Mandy Atkinson

Antony Grace

Lucy Grace

Graham McKnight

Rosey Whorlow

Anne Yavary

Russell Deen

Catherine Burgess

Sean Odell

Clare Riley-Watson

Colin Hicks

Mike Wright

Jenni Hastings

Marie Vickers

Shasha Scambler

Dane Mehmedovic

Cllr Sally Smith

Andrew Hammond

Claire Hart

John Baine

Martine Davis

Jane Hedger

Melanie Mansfield

Anita Coe

Alan Calder

Natalie Woolven

Rachel Smithson

Karen Dow

Natalie Smith

Alan Wright

Ivy Mitchell

Fiona Ramasami

Gina Deen

Pamela Montgomery

Gordon McLaughlan

Kelly Stevens-McLaughlan

Emma Cameron

Christopher Regan

Eleanor King

Stefan Sykes

Dave Holden

Sheelagh Kreft

Simon Allchin

Ed Miller

Michael Brown

Colin Edwards

Dorothy Macedo

John Martin

Vicki Wells

Heather Massey

Ian Walker, Secretary Worthing West CLP

Scott Melhuish

Vicky Brook Moran

Graham Hunt

Fung-Yee Hite

Evan Vaughan

Roucksana Yerally

Simon Keys

David Weller

Daryl Beste

Darren Pearce

Helen Ferguson

Margaret Fearon

Jill Guest

Malcom Cobden

Zoe Beverton

Jenny Bourne

Paula Taylor-Moore

Allan Martin

Liz Lane

Rebekah Dunn

Sarah Mullen

Nick Hatton

Sharon Luttman

Cllr Beccy Cooper

Bruce Taylor

Anna Bluston

Rich Sage

Deborah Flynn-Harland

Bridget Norman

Terry Atkinson

Tim Smith

Sarah Palmer

Tina Cranwell

Carla Bristol

Joan Franklin

Maureen Purcell

Jo Sangster

Jackie Painter

Eithne Lehane

Sue Cook

Amanda Wakefield

Laura Evans

Elaine Purtell

Luke Angel

Brett Jones

Sam Baeza

Cllr Richard Mulholland

Linden Ash

Christine Randell

David Lace

Sam Baars

Anne Lovelock

Gemma Miles

Emma Taylor

David Richardson

Rosemary Bunting

Wes Atkinson

Rose Lelliott

Lena M

Mary Martin

Dan Wyke

Grainne Byrne

Debbie Summers

Simon Bates

Duncan Oakden

Peter Douglas

John Kalber

Joan Smith

Frankie Elen

Susan McMillan

Clyde Ferguson

James Innes

Sharon Mitchell

Teri Slatter

Darren Trusler

Lucy Toynbee

Brian Gill

Katy Parsonage

Christine Behagg

Jurgen Ziewe

Jean Raleigh

Ingrid Allan

Susan Baker

Edward Peckham

Luke Osbourne

Cerian Richardson

Hannah Harwood

Sam Lovely

Lisa Hicks

Matthew Burgess Turner

Guy Viney

Ed Eperson

Kate Laker

Jane Rennie

Cllr Carl Walker

Cllr Margaret Howard

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