AN estate agent has been sacked after his boss saw a video of him grabbing Prof Chris Whitty around the neck.
Lewis Hughes and pal Jonathan Chew, tous les deux 24, were branded “despicable thugs” by the Prime Minister for manhandling England’s chief medical officer.
But tonight, boxing enthusiast Hughes apologised through The Sun and said: “I’ve paid the price with my job.”
He told how the friends had been on an anti-vax march in London on Sunday when they spotted Prof Whitty, 55, at about 3pm in St James’s 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 and is the brother of reality star Ashleigh Hughes, admitted having a couple of drinks first.
Il a dit: “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.
“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.”
Il continua: “I feel very let down by Boris, for him to call me a thug. I actually voted for him as well.
“I have worked every day of my life since I left college, I have never been in any trouble. Now I have to start from the beginning again and I loved my job.”
I feel very let down by Boris, for him to call me a thug. I actually voted for him as well.
Lewis, from Romford, Essex, said the police have told him they would not be taking further action.
entre-temps, his friend Chew said he suffered from ADHD and autism, ajouter: “Sometimes things seem a good idea and really they’re not.
“I don’t think we did anything wrong. We just saw him, and thought, ‘That’s the guy from the TV. He’s famous’.
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“We didn’t cause any harm to him. We just wanted a selfie.”
Police, who took the pair’s details, said they were still investigating the incident — recorded as a common assault.
Prof Whitty said he did not want to make a formal complaint.