Man Charged With Common Assault for Harrassing England’s Chief Medical Officer

July 2, 2021 Updated: July 2, 2021

One of the men who harassed England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty on Sunday has been charged, the Metropolitan police said on Friday.

The man, 23-year old Lewis Hughes, was charged on Thursday evening with common assault. The Met said Hughes was charged by postal requisition and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 30.

The Met also said that enquiries into the incident continue.

Footage from Sunday in St. James’s Park, London, which circulated online, shows Hughs and his friend Jonathon Chew jeering as they grab hold of Whitty, who appears to struggle to free himself.

At one point one of them can be heard saying, “One photo please?”

The Met has previously said officers nearby intervened when they saw the incident, and the men had been “robustly warned about their behaviour and ordered to leave the area.”

Whitty didn’t suffer any injuries and told officers at the scene that he didn’t want to make any allegations before leaving.

Hughs has since apologised for his behaviour, saying he had a drink before the incident, and only wanted a selfie with the chief medical officer to show his mother.

“There was no malicious intent, I didn’t want to upset him,” Hughs told The Sun newspaper.

The former estate agent also said he had lost his job after the video went viral and prompted widespread criticism, including from the prime minister, who called the two men “thugs.”

But his friend Jonathon Chew, who was also in the video, was less repentant, according to The Sun.

His friend Chew, who has autism and ADHD, told the newspaper that he didn’t think they did anything wrong.

Whitty became a household name during the early period of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic when he regularly appeared alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving televised briefings and fielding questions on the scientific advice behind the UK government’s pandemic response.

It is the third time that footage of Whitty apparently being harassed has surfaced on social media, prompting questions over whether he should be assigned personal protection.

Simon Veazey contributed to this report.