Outrage as men harass and grab Chris Whitty in street leaving top medic trying to escape
Police are investigating after a clip shared on social media shows two men grabbing England’s chief medical officer by the neck, sparking calls for Professor Chris Whitty to be given better protectionhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.469.0_en.html#goog_888897107 ByDave BurkeNews reporter
- 00:12, 29 Jun 2021
- UPDATED07:30, 29 Jun 2021
“Disgusting” new footage shows Professor Chris Whitty being accosted by two men who put their arms around him as he attempts to flee.
England’s chief medical officer is seen being manhandled by the duo in St James’s Park, London as the incident is filmed.
Both men excitedly chant “oi oi” and say “one photo please” as the scientist – who has helped lead the country through the pandemic – looks uncomfortable.
Prof Whitty is shown ducking to get free after one of the men puts his arm around his neck as they try to take a selfie, only for them to follow him.
As he attempts to walk away, he is seen looking concerned at the camera as the men repeatedly grab him and continue to pose.
Two men are seen accosting the Chief Medical Officer in the streetSponsored Link by TaboolaRemember Him Wait Till You See Him NowDAILY SPORT X
With a line of police vans visible in the background, a voice is heard saying “Leave the gentleman alone” before the clip ends.
It has prompted calls for scientists to be given the same level of security afforded to senior politicians, with a number of MPs swift to condemn those involved.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi tweeted: “This is disgusting and these thugs must be found and charged. Zero tolerance for harassing a public servant.”
One of the man puts Mr Whitty in a headlock
“Even if you perceive it as non violent it is clear that he felt awful and uncomfortable and resisted,” Ms Phillips tweeted.
“Public figures are not dolls, they are human beings, it is stunning how easily this is forgotten.”
Schools Minister Nick Gibb told Sky News: “I think this thing is absolutely appalling and I’m sure all your viewers and the general public will absolutely condemn the behaviour of these yobs.ADVERTISEMENT
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“This is now a matter of police investigation and I hope the whole weight of the law will come down on people who engage in that kind of behaviour.”
Whether he should have police protection “is a matter for the security services”, he added.
Actor and presenter Adil Ray posted on Twitter: “This is an utterly disgusting way to treat a person who has devoted his time to save our lives.Holiday hotspots announce new restrictions on UK tourists amid Delta variant rise
“These complete and utter imbeciles must be found and dealt with. Meanwhile @BorisJohnson please provide Chris Whitty with security.”
Former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal called for protection for Prof Whitty and other scientists advising the Government over pandemic-fighting measures.
Prof Whitty is shown trying to get away from the men
“This is just the latest incident of harassment involving the chief medical advisor.”
News presenter Simon McCoy wrote: “This is a complete disgrace. Chris Whitty should be protected from idiots like these.”
Another Twitter user posted: “It’s never ok to harass somebody like this in the street. Chris Whitty should be able to walk down the street without being pulled and shoved around. Disgusting.”
And one more wrote: “Imagine working through the pandemic to help the NHS and save lives only to be treated like this I look up to Chris Whitty’s patience and professionalism. A lot.”
The footage was shared by Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who wrote: “It should not be hard to identify the men harassing Chris Whitty in this video.”
It’s not clear when the incident, which has been viewed more than 575,000 times on Twitter, took place.
Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of a video being shared online showing an incident in St James’s Park. Officers spoke to all those involved at the time and their details were taken.
“We are in contact with the victim and the circumstances continue to be investigated.”
In February a similar incident saw Prof Whitty harangued in the street in London by a young man saying: “Stop lying to the TV, man.”https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.469.0_en.html#goog_888897109 CHRIS WHITTY TAUNTED BY TIKTOKER ON THE STREET CHANTING ‘YOU’RE A LIAR”https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk-news%2Foutrage-men-harass-grab-chris-24418059%3Futm_source%3Dmirror_newsletter%26utm_campaign%3Ddaily_morning_newsletter2%26utm_medium%3Demail&cre=bottom&cip=2&view=web
In the aftermath, the scientist said: “The odd young lad showing off occasionally happens.
“I didn’t think anything of it, frankly. I was very surprised that it was picked up by the media as anything of any importance.”
Of the youngster behind the clip, Professor Whitty said: “I’m sure he’ll become a model citizen in due course, hopefully more like Captain Tom, who’s the kind of person who I think exemplifies the spirit of the UK.”Mixing Covid vaccines such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca gives ‘robust immune response’Over 90% of areas in England see Covid rise in week with one now five times higherDON’T MISS
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