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“Thug” estate agent sacked for accosting Professor Chris Whitty

An estate agent has been sacked after being identified as one of two people accosting England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

A video circulated recently on social media shows two men laughing and jeering as they grab hold of Whitty.

The professor is now being given additional security as a result.


In The Sun Hughes is described as having been on an anti-vaccination march on Sunday when he and a friend spotted Whitty at about 3pm in a central London park. 

“They filmed the encounter — with the 18-second clip sparking outrage when it went online and was viewed around the world. Hughes, who worked for Caplen Estates Agents, admitted having a couple of drinks first" the paper says.

The ex-agent himself is quoted by the paper as saying: "I absolutely apologise for any upset I caused. 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 incident provoked a strong rebuke from Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said: "I’m shocked at seeing the despicable harassment of Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. 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.”

The Metropolitan Police says in a statement: "We are aware of a video being shared online showing an incident that took place in St James's Park ... Officers were in the vicinity policing a nearby demonstration and intervened when they saw what was happening.

"They spoke to the victim and checked his welfare. He had not suffered any injuries and informed officers that at that time he did not wish to make any allegations. He then went on his way. Officers continued to speak to the two men and recorded their details. They were robustly warned about their behaviour and ordered to leave the area."

The Sun had the scoop about Hughes and you can see the paper's story here.

  • icon

    It was an anti lockdown march not anti vax. Typical MSM.

    Rollo Miles

    The guy himself says he was at an anti vaccine March !


    'Typical MSM' in the form of low-rent 'journalism'. Agreed.


    The protest was for anti-convid Jab (until human trials finish in 2023), anti -convid jab for kids and anti-lockdown. I was there!

  • Rob Hailstone

    If someone had invaded my space like that, I think I would have pushed back, that could of course have escalated matters. Professor Whitty was in a no-win situation and humiliated publicly. Their behaviour was boorish and despicable. Lucky if they get away with only their jobs being lost.

  • icon

    How to quickly get yourself sacked and make yourself unemployable at the same time. Who would want to employ someone who has brought the industry into the spotlight in such a negative way. Hopefully he will be able to learn from his mistakes and use this experience as a warning to others that you are constantly being monitored and you are responsible for your own actions both during working and social hours.

  • Andrew Ireland

    Someone in the industry should publicly state that our profession has no place for people like this and in my view they should never work as agents again….ever.

  • Anthony Alex

    If they'd written this game-plan down and read it through - 'Let's get p*ssed, go on a completely ridiculous and pointless protest, diverting police and public resources once again and then make utter prats of ourselves and lose our jobs' - they might have had time to reconsider?

  • Simon Brown ESTAS

    Stories like this are so frustrating!!! We've been working hard for years trying to change the public perception of estate agents then an idiot does something like that! It just helps to reinforce the general public view of agents. Good luck to Caplen Estate Agents to restore their local reputation.

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    • 01 July 2021 09:27 AM

    He should be humiliated in public aswell. Tic for tac.

  • icon

    Just another OTT story. Just remember when you were young once and out with mates. Chris Whitty being a strange shy man has made this look worse. Boris calling them thugs has jumped on this bandwagon to. Another public hanging.

    Anthony Alex

    The story itself is not OTT James. Yes, kids get drunk and do stupid things but they generally don't video themselves and make it public, or at least they didn't before Generation Me came along.

  • icon

    Anthony, the video looks worse than it is and first thought is, idiots. But you were young once, remember? Chris Whitty makes it look worse than it is. Chances are if he had the selfie with them, this would never have happened. A shy strange man should perhaps stay locked in his lab and save lots of expensive security personnel.

  • Matthew Gardiner Legge

    The lad was an idiot for doing what he did and especially more for posting it online - presumably when he was still drunk. He should be sacked, he's young and will get another job in estateg agency and hopefully he'll have a new approach to life and go on te be successful. We, me included, have all done srtupid things and we live and learn. I say good luck to him.


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