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Agent accosting Whitty was “unacceptable” say trade bodies

The industry’s two leading trade bodies have spoken out about the incident in which an agent accosted England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

Some comments left by readers on Estate Agent Today last week noted an absence of official comment from the bodies about the behaviour of Lewis Hughes, 23 and from Romford, who has been sacked by the agency for which he worked - Caplen Estates in Essex.

Following the incident - in which Whitty is believed to have been manhandled by Lewis after a chance meeting in a London park - Lewis was charged with common assault and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on July 30.

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Over the weekend EAT approached both Propertymark and the Guild of Property Professionals on their view.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, told us: “The agent nor the firm are members of Propertymark; however we are pleased to see that the firm has taken action to show it won’t tolerate poor behaviour and to reflect the need for professional standards in our industry. Accosting anyone and making them feel uncomfortable in this way is unacceptable.”

And Iain McKenzie, chief executive of the Guild, told EAT: “It is difficult to comment on an issue without having all of the facts, however, respect, dignity and maintaining positive reputation has always been a backbone of a decent estate agency business. As an industry that works with the public, these qualities need to be ingrained in a property professional and should be on display regardless of whether they are in the workplace or not. Regardless of the industry an individual represents, anti-social behaviour of this type should not be accepted.”

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