Lewis Hughes and Jonathan Chew grabbed Chris Whitty as he tried to get away (Picture: LinkedIn)
An estate agent who harassed Professor Chris Whitty on camera in
London’s St James’s Park has been fired after his boss saw the video.
Lewis Hughes and friend Jonathan Chew put their arms around England’s chief medical officer and grabbed hold of his neck as he tried to break free.
The pair, both 24, were branded ‘despicable thugs’ by Boris Johnson as the video shared online was widely condemned.
Professor Whitty looked visibly distressed as the two men continued to pester him and demanded a selfie.
It isn’t the first time he and other Covid scientists have been harassed in public, leading to calls for them to be provided with police protection.
Now Hughes has apologised for chasing after Professor Whitty, revealing that he has ‘paid the price’ with his job.
The boxing enthusiast says he feels ‘let down by Boris’ after being called a ‘despicable thug’
the Sun: ‘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.’
The boxing enthusiast, from Romford Essex, says he ‘just wanted a selfie’ to show his mum and said there was ‘no malicious intent’.
Hughes, who worked for Caplen Estates Agents, said he and his pal had been on an anti-vax march on Sunday when they saw Professor Whitty at around 3pm.
While he admitted having a few drinks with his friend before the incident, he said he feels ‘let down by Boris’ after being branded a thug.
The pair were seen putting Professor Whitty in a headlock as he tried to break free
Hughes, 24, says he ‘loved’ his job and that he has to ‘start from the beginning again’ (Picture: Caplenestates.com)
He added: ‘I have never been in any trouble. Now I have to start from the beginning again and I loved my job.’
Meanwhile Chew says he is autistic and suffers from ADHD, claiming that ‘sometimes things seem a good idea and really they’re not’.
The Metropolitan Police are still investigating the incident – recorded as a common assault – and said officers spoke to all those involved and took their details.
Professor Whitty has said he does not want to make a formal complaint.
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