National hero and human rag doll Professor Chris Whitty is clearly on his way to saintdom and is a shoe-in for Attenborough’s ‘national treasure’ spot the moment the naturalist snuffs it. But that doesn’t seem to stop our national voice of reason from being intermittently accosted, attacked and bullied in the street. And this weekend’s latest attack has prompted outrage from Boris while the Home Secretary has suggested he may be getting police protection.
The Sunday daytime attack saw the Chief Medical Officer wandering across St James’s Park, presumably on his way to work, being set upon by thugs who surround and intimidate him, laughing and jeering as they film him.
The disturbing event, which sees Whitty struggle to free himself from the melee, was met with unequivocal condemnation from the Prime Minister, who said he was “shocked at seeing the despicable harassment”.
Set upon by thugs who surround and intimidate him...
Labour’s Jess Philips channelled MPs’ frustration at this wider trend, saying “Even if you perceive it as non-violent it is clear that he felt awful and uncomfortable and resisted.
“Public figures are not dolls, they are human beings, it is stunning how easily this is forgotten.”
Speaking to Times Radio, Home Secretary Priti Patel suggested that Whitty might be offered a police bodyguard, saying “It’s important we make sure that Chris is given the right kind of support. It is terrible to see such an important public figure – someone that day in, day out has been serving our country in the way in which he has to keep us safe – being subject to such appalling abuse.”
It's by no means the first time Whitty has been the victim of similar attacks...
And it’s by no means the first time Whitty has been the victim of similar attacks. The CMO was accosted in Oxford recently by a man accusing him of lying to the public about Covid-19 while in February he was again filmed and attacked outside Westminster.
The Metropolitan Police have apparently spoken to all the attackers in this case, having intervened on Sunday and taken all their names and addresses. Let’s hope they progress things along.
Meanwhile, Priti-please can we get Kevin Costner down to take care of Chris Whitty ASAP?
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.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 29, 2021