Man filmed harassing Chris Whitty apologises after losing his job

Man filmed harassing Chris Whitty apologises after losing his job (Photo by Matt Dunham-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

A man who was filmed harassing Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has apologised after losing his job over the incident. 

Lewis Hughes, from Essex, said he was sacked from his job as an estate agent after a video of the incident went viral.

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Lewis Hughes and Jonathan Chew accosted chief medical officer Chris Whitty on Sunday (27 June) and filmed the incident, in which Whitty was clearly uncomfortable.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among the many people to express his distaste at the incident, describing the men as “thugs”.

He said: “I’m shocked at seeing the despicable harassment of chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

“I condemn the behaviour of these thugs. Our hard-working public servants should not have to face this kind of intimidation on our streets and we will not tolerate it.”

The Metropolitan Police said they were investigating the incident as common assault.

'Very let down'

Speaking to The Sun, Lewis Hughes said: “I absolutely apologise for any upset I caused.

“If I made him feel uncomfortable, which it does look like I did, then I am sorry to him for that.

“He is quite a timid, shy person and I think that is why he didn’t say, ‘Get off me’. If he had said that and I had realised how he felt, I wouldn’t have put my arm round him.

“There was no malicious intent, I didn’t want to upset him.”

“I feel very let down by Boris, for him to call me a thug. I actually voted for him as well.

“I have worked every day of my life since I left college, I have never been in any trouble. Now I have to start from the beginning again and I loved my job.”

Police investigating

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “We are aware of a video being shared online showing an incident that took place in St James’s Park at around 19:20 on the evening of Sunday 27 June.

“Officers were in the vicinity policing a nearby demonstration and intervened when they saw what was happening.

“They spoke to the victim and checked his welfare. He had not suffered any injuries and informed officers that at that time he did not wish to make any allegations. He then went on his way.

“Officers continued to speak to the two men and recorded their details. They were robustly warned about their behaviour and ordered to leave the area.

“Police remain in contact with the alleged victim. The incident has been recorded as a common assault and continues to be investigated by the Met’s Public Order crime team.”