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Professor Chris Whitty Manhandled By Two Men In The Street

by : Hannah Smith on :
Professor Chris Whitty Manhandled By Two Men In The StreetPA Images

People are warning of the dangers of COVID misinformation after footage emerged of Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty being physically harassed in a public street.

Video posted to Twitter appeared to show two men grabbing Whitty and attempting to pose for the camera as he tries to shake them off. The men then followed Whitty across the road and continued to harass him until a passer-by intervened.

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The incident is believed to have occurred in St James Park, central London, and has quickly seen an outpouring of support for Whitty, who has been one of the key figures in the UK’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to the footage, health minister Nadhim Zahawi called for the police to intervene, tweeting, ‘This is disgusting and these thugs must be found and charged. Zero tolerance for harassing a public servant.’

Journalist Jane Merrick said the incident showed a disturbing lack of security for non-elected public officials, tweeting, ‘I’m not sharing the horrible footage of Chris Whitty getting physically accosted but whoever is in charge of police protection for ministers/officials… needs to get him some right now’

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Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty (PA Images)PA Images

In a statement to Sky News the Met Police said:

We’re 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.

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It’s at least the second time Whitty has been publicly harassed this year, with footage filmed in February having shown the Chief Medical Officer being shouted at and called a ‘liar’ while queuing at a food stall.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Now, UK Politics

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Sky News
  1. Sky News

    Professor Chris Whitty: 'Disgusting' video of 'thugs' harassing England's chief medical officer condemned by minister