Mark Field, the former Tory minister who controversially manhandled a female environmental protester at the Chancellor’s Mansion House speech, is to quit as an MP.
He told his local party in Cities of London and Westminster, where he had a majority of just 3,148 over Labour at the 2017 general election, that he will not be a candidate at the next election.
Announcing his decision, he said he was proud of his reputation as a “moderate, consensual MP, invariably keen to work effectively across party lines to the benefit of constituents and communities alike”.
He cited disagreements with the handling of Brexit as his reason for stepping down but added: “I have no desire to become a disaffected, dissenting voice from the backbenches, undermining a government under whose colours I have been elected.”
He said speculation about an imminent general election “has forced me to reach the very difficult decision not to offer myself as your candidate”.
Mr Field was elected in 2001. He was suspended as the Foreign Office minister after grabbing an activist at a black-tie dinner in the City of London during a speech being given by then-Chancellor Philip Hammond.
He was sacked from the role when Boris Johnson entered office and a Whitehall investigation over the matter was later dropped.
I have announced I will not be standing as a candidate for the Cities of London & Westminster at the next general election. I remain a Conservative MP.
See my full statement on my website: https://t.co/rJxuDvFhRM
— Mark Field MP (@MarkFieldUK) October 17, 2019
Mark Field was suspended as a Foreign Office minister after grabbing a female Greenpeace activist at a black-tie City dinner.
Mr Field has said he regrets confronting Janet Barker and marching her away as protesters interrupted a speech by the chancellor.
But he said he had been “genuinely worried” she may have been armed.
Ms Barker told the BBC she would not go to the police, but said the MP should go to anger management classes.
SHOULD GO TO ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASSES.
Footage of the incident has been widely shared on social media, with several Labour politicians calling for Mr Field to be sacked.