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An estate agent has expressed his embarrassment and sincere remorse for grabbing and harassing the UK's Chief Health Officer.
Video footage of Lewis Hughes and Jonathan Chew being rowdy around Chris Whitty went viral online this week and sparked anger all up and down Britain.
The clip, which is around 20 seconds long, shows the grinning 24-year-olds grabbing him and asking for a photo while someone in the background can be heard saying 'Leave the gentleman alone'.
It was such big news that even Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement, saying: "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."
Lewis Hughes has revealed he's since been sacked from his job as a result of the stunt. When Caplen Estates Agents saw the footage, the boxing enthusiast was told he was no longer welcome.
Lewis explained how he and Mr Chew had downed some drinks during the day and ran into Mr Whitty after they had attended an anti-vaxx rally near St James's Park.
Speaking to The Sun, Mr Hughes says he massively regrets what he did.
"I've paid the price with my job. 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."
Lewis says he was hurt by the descriptive words used by Prime Minister Johnson, mainly because he voted for him at the last election.
"To be honest I just wanted a selfie with Chris Whitty to show my mum. There was no malicious intent, I didn't want to upset him," he said. "I put my arm around him but he started moving away so my arm ended up going around his neck more."
He's lamented about having to 'start from the beginning' after working every day since leaving college.
His mate, Jonathan Chew, has also apologised for the incident and said his ADHD and autism causes him to make bad decisions sometimes.
Police were initially investigating the incident as common assault, however The Sun said no further action will be taken against Mr Hughes or Mr Chew. Mr Whitty also did not want to make a formal complaint.
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