Police investigating after Chris Whitty accosted in parkon June 29, 2021 at 7:31 am

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A video shared online appears to show two men laughing and jeering at England’s chief medical officer.

A still of the video footage appearing to show Chris Whitty being grabbed

Police are investigating video footage which appears to show England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, being accosted by two men in a park.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “shocked at seeing the despicable harassment” of Prof Whitty.

The video shows two men laughing and jeering as they grab hold of Prof Whitty, who struggles to free himself.

The Met Police said it happened in St James’s Park in London on Sunday and all those involved had been spoken to.

The PM tweeted: “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.”

Other MPs to criticise the incident included new Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who said it was “appalling and totally unacceptable”.

He added: “The CMO (chief medical officer) works tirelessly on behalf of the country… the men behaving in this disgraceful way should be ashamed.”

Labour MP Jess Philips tweeted: “Even if you perceive it as non-violent it is clear that he felt awful and uncomfortable and resisted.

“Public figures are not dolls, they are human beings, it is stunning how easily this is forgotten.”

It is not the first time Prof Whitty has been filmed being confronted by a member of the public.

Earlier this month, a man in Oxford accused him of lying to the public about coronavirus, while in February a man accosted the chief medical officer outside Westminster.

The Met said in a statement on the latest incident: “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.”

Prof Whitty has played a key role in the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, regularly appearing alongside the prime minister at televised Covid briefings.

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