LONDON (Reuters) – A man has been charged over an incident broadcast on social media in which the British government’s top medical adviser Chris Whitty was manhandled as he walked through a London park, police said on Friday.
Chris Whitty, who has become one of the most prominent officials across Britain during the coronavirus pandemic, was shown in the footage published on social media on Tuesday being grabbed by two jeering, grinning men.
It prompted wide condemnation, including from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and calls for the police to take action.
London police said Lewis Hughes, 23, had been charged with common assault and would appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 30.
“At approximately 19:20hrs on Sunday, 27 June officers in St James’s Park became aware of a man being accosted by a group of men. They spoke to the victim and checked his welfare. He had not suffered any injuries,” police said in a statement.
“Officers subsequently reviewed video footage which emerged after the incident and the matter was referred to the Public Order Crime Team.”
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by William James)