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Lewis Hughes has been charged with assaulting Professor Chris Whitty, police have confirmed. Watch the incident below:
The 23-year-old recently revealed that he had lost his job as an estate agent as a result of a video that went viral, in which he is seen grabbing hold of Prof Whitty.
The Metropolitan Police has now confirmed that he has been charged with common assault with regards to the incident, which took place on Sunday (27 June).
This comes after video footage of Mr Hughes and his friend Jonathan Chew surfaced on social media, showing the pair grabbing hold of Prof Whitty and getting their arms around his neck in a London park.
The video was met with a lot of anger from the general public as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Reacting to the footage, Mr Johnson 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."
Speaking about the incident, Mr Hughes said he was sorry it happened and that he was now out of a job as a result.
"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 said.
"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."
Mr Hughes claimed he was hurt by the words used by Prime Minister Johnson, saying that he had actually voted for him at the last election.
He said: "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.
"I put my arm around him but he started moving away so my arm ended up going around his neck more."
Mr Chew's mum said he 'misread' the situation.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Natasha, 49, said: "First and foremost I would like to apologise for any distress that the incident may have caused Mr Whitty.
"My son and his friend had been enjoying their day, having a few social drinks together when they spotted Mr Whitty.
"Realising who he was, and understanding how important he is to our country at this very moment, they wanted to get a picture with him.
"As with most celebrities and famous people, it is commonplace for the public to want a picture with them and you can clearly hear Jonathan asking for a picture with Mr Whitty.
"However, due to Jonathan's autism, he finds it difficult to read situations and was not aware that his excitement at spotting Mr Whitty was causing any distress. I hope Mr Whitty is feeling more at ease now that sufficient time has passed and he can continue with his job without distractions."
"Jonathan may have misread the situation but did not intend any harm at all."
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
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