Police investigating after Chris Whitty accosted in park

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.

The Metropolitan Police said it had spoken to all those involved in the incident in St James’s Park in London.

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

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was “appalling” to see Prof Whitty being “harassed”.

He added: “The CMO (chief medical officer) works tirelessly on behalf of the country. We will not tolerate this sort of behaviour towards our public servants.

“The men behaving in this disgraceful way should be ashamed.”

“We are in contact with the victim and the circumstances continue to be investigated.”

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: “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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