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Disturbing footage emerges of anti-lockdown mob outside Chris Whitty’s home shouting ‘murderer’ and ‘traitor’ day before he was put in a headlock by yobs in London park as police probe incident amid calls for better security
- A huge crowd marched on the Chief Medical Officer’s flat in central London and yelled abuse from the street
- The mob blasted horns and shouted through megaphones towards the epidemiologist’s apartment Saturday
- The footage emerged today after it was revealed Prof Whitty had been attacked by two thugs on Sunday night
- The latest incident saw the two men follow the scientist and put him in a headlock in St James’s Park, London
- PM slammed the ‘despicable harassment’ and said public servants ‘should not have to face this intimidation’
Do YOU know these men?
Chris Whitty was branded a ‘traitor’ and a ‘murderer’ by lockdown sceptics who gathered outside his home on Saturday – a day before he was put in a headlock by two thugs.
A huge crowd marched on the Chief Medical Officer’s flat in central London and yelled abuse from the street as some swigged beer.
The mob blasted horns and shouted through megaphones towards the epidemiologist’s apartment as they stood across the road.
Footage of the protest emerged on social media today after it was revealed Prof Whitty had been attacked by two thugs on Sunday night.
The latest incident saw the two men follow the scientist and put him in a headlock as he walked through St James’s Park in the capital.
Boris Johnson slammed the ‘despicable harassment’ and said public servants ‘should not have to face this kind of intimidation’.
Priti Patel said she was ‘horrified’ by the ‘appalling’ attack – the third time the Chief Medical Officer has been accosted in just four months.
The Home Secretary said it was important Prof Whitty got the support he needed but refused to reveal if he will now get greater levels of protection.
Yet a firm of private security experts told MailOnline he should have police protection, ‘certainly with the recent history of incidents towards him’.
They added someone that high profile is ‘at risk of being targeted by many groups, such as the anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, or those that have lost their jobs, friends, or family members due to Covid-19’.
Sunday’s incident is the second time Prof Whitty has been attacked this month after a man harassed him in the street in Oxford and accused him of lying about coronavirus.
He was also rounded on by a young thug in February, who uploaded his video to TikTok and was later scolded by his mother.
Meanwhile last week an anti-vaxxer protester filmed himself yelling abuse at Jonathan Van-Tam while accusing him of ‘genocide’ and lying to Britons.
A huge crowd marched on the Chief Medical Officer’s flat in central London and yelled abuse from the street as some swigged beer on Saturday afternoon
The mob blasted horns and shouted through megaphones towards the epidemiologist’s apartment as they stood across the road
Footage from Saturday’s march shows the anti-lockdown protesters gathered outside Prof Whitty’s home in central London.
They stood on the road – where flats sell for up to £12.5million – and some drank beer as they branded Prof Whitty a ‘murderer’ and ‘traitor’ for his work during the pandemic.
They hurled the insults at the top epidemiologist’s home through megaphones and clasping their hands around their mouths. It is not clear if Prof Whitty was at home.
Joel Smalley, who said he attended the ‘freedom rally’, tweeted: ‘Most of those appalled by the activity throw insults at those conducting it like they are all ignorant and brainwashed by ”conspiracy theories”.’
He added: ‘Kind of ironic given that the marchers have probably done more research! I know, I was there.’
While the demonstrators shouted their bile at Prof Whitty’s home, thousands of others were taking part in an anti-lockdown rally outside Downing Street.
The footage surfaced today hours after it emerged Prof Whitty had been harassed in St James’s Park on Sunday night.
A 16-second clip emerged last night of the moment the two men wrapped their arms around the epidemiologist’s head. They cheer and yell as they tackle the top scientist while continuing to film his stunned reaction.
A Metropolitan Police squad van is seen in the background of the video and the force confirmed officers spoke to the individuals and got their details.
But members of the public rounded on the Met and asked why the thugs were only spoken to and not arrested on the spot.
The video shows the yobs cheering and yelling as they start their attack on the scientist. They both appear to be trying to restrain him as he struggles to get free from their grasps.
While one of the two thugs continues to yell at the camera, another can be heard shouting: ‘Please, sorry, one photo.’
Prof Whitty looks terrified throughout the clip as he tries to walk away from the men who repeatedly try to grab him and film him. As the video ends, a voice off camera can be heard saying: ‘Leave the gentleman alone.’
This is the moment two thugs appear to grab government advisor Professor Chris Whitty and put him in a headlock as they harass him in a park as he grapples with them to get away
Chief Medical Officer for England Prof Chris Whitty is seen walking past the Department of Health and Social Care in London on Monday afternoon
What personal protection do Cabinet ministers get and could Chris Whitty have the same?
Cabinet ministers are given more personal protection than their colleagues due to the increased profile of their role.
They are privy to officers from the Metropolitan Police’s elite Protection Command while in office.
The specialist unit has two branches – Royalty and Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection.
These officers are licensed to carry firearms with them at work, unlike most police in Britain.
The Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection branch take care of high-profile ministers and also control access to Downing Street.
PC Keith Palmer was in the unit when he died outside the Palace of Westminster in 2017.
An unnamed personal protection officer assigned to the then Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon shot and killed the attacker.
Wayne Couzens, who was arrested over the death of Sarah Everard, was also in the branch.
The role is perhaps best known to the public by the thriller series Bodyguard, which came out in 2018.
Officers are in a pool and they may not protect the same person on different days after the Royalty and Diplomatic protection was merged a few years ago.
It is not clear if an officer from here would be appropriate for Prof Whitty, but Priti Patel vowed to ‘look at what we can do to support him’ when asked about his protection.
Asked if she thinks he needs security measures, she said: ‘I can’t speak about that but it’s important that we make sure that Chris is given the right kind of support.’
Mr Johnson condemned the two men on social media this morning tweeting: ‘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.’
Meanwhile Ms Patel told Times Radio: ‘I’m just horrified by that, I really am. Chris is just a remarkable public servant, a man who has been leading the whole coronavirus response – nationally, yes, he has a high profile, and I think he’s an incredibly respected figure.
‘I’m horrified by what has happened to Chris and the police are actually involved as well and we’re also speaking to Chris to look at what we can do to support him, it’s just appalling.’
Asked if she thinks Prof Whitty needs security measures, she said: ‘I can’t speak about that but it’s important that we make sure that Chris is given the right kind of support.
‘It’s 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 just appalling abuse.’
The attack sparked calls for scientific officers to get the personal protection offered to senior politicians after they were launched into the limelight by the pandemic.
Managing Director of Westminster Security John Moore told MailOnline he thought the top scientist needed to be looked after.
He said: ‘I think Prof. Chris Whitty should have police protection certainly with the recent history of incidents towards him, this should have been in place already.
‘But also, being such a prominent figure and essentially the face of the Government during the pandemic, the frustrated public will naturally blame him for the ongoing lockdown saga.
‘I believe someone as high profile as him is at risk of being targeted by many groups, such as the anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, or even those that have lost their jobs, friends, or family members due to Covid-19 and the lockdown. Especially as he is not currently receiving protection, hopefully that will change as of today.’
He added: ‘The protection Prof. Whitty receives should be in line with the threats and risks highlighted recently, this could be a combination of 24-hour residential security at his home, a police advanced driver-trained security chauffeur and police armed bodyguard(s).
‘Private security may be utilised to compliment and plug gaps where the police are unable, but this is unlikely, predominantly it will be the Met Police Protection Command that would provide the security and covert armed bodyguards from Royalty and Specialist Command (RaSP).’
Other politicians and public figures slammed the attackers after the video was viewed more than half a million times online.
They called for an investigation into how the shocking incident could happen and for a greater protection for the country’s leading advisers.
During the terrifying video, Prof Whitty looks concerned as he tries to escape their grasp while the thugs appear to laugh off his attempts
Politicians and public figures have slammed the attackers after the video was viewed more than half a million times online
Lee Hurst has been ‘reported for incitement’ after backing the thugs who put Chris Whitty in a headlock.
The controversial comic, who rose to fame on They Think It’s All Over, tweeted this morning: ‘Whatever has happened to Chris Whitty is not enough.’
The 57-year-old from Sittingbourne, Kent, went on to launch an expletive tirade about what he would like to do to the Chief Medical Officer.
He added: ‘You support a regime that slaughtered thousands in care homes so I think you have the edge.’
Lee Hurst has been ‘reported for incitement’ after backing the thugs who put Chris Whitty in a headlock
Hurst was slammed by social media users and panned by many of his 18,000 followers.
One wrote: ‘You seem to be inciting violence against a scientist. Reported.’
Another put: ‘You should be grateful to him. Thanks to the 30 person limit, your tour can officially be classed as a sell-out.’
And one said: ‘I’d rather listen to someone who has five medical degrees, still does his rounds and worked on Christmas Day on a virus that he will slightly know more about than a washed up ‘comic’. You’ve never had an edge.’
Tell Mama UK, which records anti-Muslim incidents, added: ‘We have flagged this abhorrent tweet from Lee Hurst regarding Professor Chris Whitty and encourage others to do the same.’
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi tweeted: ‘This is disgusting and these thugs must be found and charged. ‘Zero tolerance for harassing a public servant.’
Newly appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I’ve seen the video of the CMO being harassed. It’s appalling and totally unacceptable.
‘The CMO works tirelessly on behalf of the country. We will not tolerate this sort of behaviour towards our public servants. The men behaving in this disgraceful way should be ashamed.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: ‘This is disgusting behaviour. Chris Whitty is a dedicated public servant who has worked tirelessly to help get us through this crisis. The police are right to investigate this harassment.’
Labour MP Jess Phillips said Prof Whitty had been made to feel ‘awful and uncomfortable’ and issued a reminder that public figures ‘are human beings’.
She said: ‘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.’
Schools minister Nick Gibb told Sky News he hoped the ‘whole weight of the law will come down on people that engage in that kind of behaviour’.
He said: ‘I think this thing is absolutely appalling and I’m sure all your viewers and the general public will absolutely condemn the behaviour of these yobs.
‘Chris Whitty has done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic in advising the government of the necessary measures to keep our NHS safe, to save lives.
‘He has been a very effective chief medical officer during that period and those scenes should not have happened.’
Asked if Prof Whitty should be afforded close protection, Mr Gibb said it was a ‘matter for the security services and for Chris Whitty’. He added: ‘Those scenes should never have occurred in our society – absolutely wrong.
‘People, whatever role they have in government, should be able to walk along the street, walk through the park unaccosted by that kind of behaviour. It should not happen in a free, law-abiding society like ours.’
Former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal also weighed in on the incident and claimed the men ‘were radicalised by others’.
He posted: ‘I won’t share the Chris Whitty being abused video, but I know that if he was the statue of someone with a dubious past, he would have a dozen strong security detail.
‘The offenders were radicalised by others – they share the blame. This is just the latest incident of harassment involving the Chief Medical Advisor.’
NHS GP partner Dr Ayan Panja wrote: ‘Awful. Poor Chris Whitty. He remained calm and professional unlike his harassers who must be appropriately reprimanded.’
Piers Morgan branded the latest attack on the Chief Medical Officer ‘disgusting’. Presenter Adil Ray said on Twitter: ‘This is an utterly disgusting way to treat a person who has devoted his time to save our lives.
‘These complete and utter imbeciles must be found and dealt with. Meanwhile Boris Johnson please provide Chris Whitty with security.’
News presenter Simon McCoy added: ‘This is a complete disgrace. Chris Whitty should be protected from idiots like these.’
Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy shared the footage and wrote: ‘It should not be hard to identify the men harassing Chris Whitty in this video.’
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘We’re aware of a video being shared online showing an incident in St James’ Park on Sunday, June 27.
‘Officers spoke to all those involved at the time and their details were taken. We are in contact with the victim and the circumstances continue to be investigated.’
But social media users asked why the police squad van seen in the footage did not react to the attack. One said: ‘With a police van in the background? They were there.’
Another put: ‘If the attack on Professor Chris Whitty isn’t assault, what is? He was physically manhandled by a group of thugs, who clearly knew what they were doing (they noticed the Police Van), against his wishes, he looked scared.’
And one more added: ‘He is clearly distressed and there’s a police van in background, what were they doing just sitting in there laughing!’
‘Appalling’ harassment of health chiefs leading Britain’s fight against Covid: Chris Whitty and Jonathan Van Tam have been confronted by yobs four times during pandemic amid calls for greater protection
Earlier this month, Professor Whitty was harassed in the street by a man accusing him of lying to the public about coronavirus. The thug, who appeared to film the video himself, went after the medical officer on a street in Oxford.
The government’s Chief Medical Advisor was shown walking briskly down a street as he was followed and bombarded with questions.
The man filming, believed to be Geza Tarjanyi, a family DJ and producer who has become known online for his activism against fracking and mask wearing.
Prof Whitty was leaving the G7 health summit at the university but the man says: ‘Hello Chris. Lying to the public again? You don’t represent us, you don’t represent the public.
‘Oxford-AstraZeneca right in the centre – what a surprise you’re here. Come speak to us Chris, come speak to the public – you’re the expert,’ the DJ is heard saying.
‘Is Bill Gates funding this?’ Mr Tarjanyi asks, after accusing the CMO of lying and after rattling off a variety of other unproven theories about the pandemic response.
Mr Whitty, wearing a suit and backpack while carrying a briefcase, is shown hurrying down the road away from the man filming and refusing to reply to his comments.
At one point, England’s CMO is shown stopping beside a police van to ask if the officers can stop the man following him.
‘These gentlemen don’t seem to want to leave me alone at all,’ Mr Whitty is heard saying to the officers in the van. But he quickly continues down the street away from the person holding the camera who continues following him.
‘Why are you lying to the public? Why is everything designed for the vaccine,’ Mr Tarjanyi is heard asking. He says ‘there is no covid’ and accuses Mr Whitty of manipulated the figures shown during No 10 press conferences.
He goes on to say he has been arrested ten times ‘because of your Covid lie, your experts’. He also accuses Professor Neil Ferguson, whose data modelling was key to the decision behind the UK’s first lockdown last year.
Mr Tarjanyi tells Mr Whitty that he has spoken to him on three occasions, and has ‘never been a threat what-so-ever’.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, has been harassed in the street again by a man accusing him of lying to the public about coronavirus. Pictured: Still grabs from a video shared to Facebook that saw Mr Whitty confronted by a man in the street
The person filming the Oxford video, identified on Facebook as Geza Tarjanyi (pictured), is a family DJ and producer who has become known online for his activism against fracking, and against mask wearing and other public health covid measures during the pandemic
How Geza Tarjanyi has become known for his anti-lockdown protests
Geza David Tarjanyi – also known as Gayzer Frackman – is a family DJ and producer who has become known online for his activism against 5G mobile networks, fracking, mask wearing and other public health measures during the pandemic. The anti-vaxxer, 60, lives in Leyland, Lancashire, but has travelled around the UK over the past year to protest against Covid-19 lockdowns, including outside 10 Downing Street.
In recent weeks he has targeted key figures in the fight against the virus – including Jonathan Van-Tam in London and Chris Whitty in Oxford. In October 2020, he held an anti-lockdown protest in Durham which was attended by councillor Irene Hewitson, who claimed that Covid-19 is a ‘fake virus’ which does not exist and compared life under lockdown to ‘living in North Korea’.
Last September, Mr Tarjanyi lost an appeal to overturn a conviction for a public order offence after disrupting a performance staged by anti-fracking campaigners during the Lancashire Fringe festival in May 2019. Preston Magistrates’ Court heard he entered the performance area, filming and shouted comments at a group of women called ‘Nannas with Banners’.
He asks why he would flag down the police when he is being filmed like he is on the BBC and ITV.
‘But they’re safe hands aren’t they,’ Mr Tarjanyi is heard saying before the video – shared on Facebook by Piers Corbyn – cuts off, implying the two broadcasters are complicity in the conspiracy.
According to the Lancashire Post, Mr Tarjanyi lost a bid to overturn a conviction for a public order offence after he disrupted a performance by anti-fracking activists at the Lancashire Fringe Festival in May 2019.
Mr Tarjanyi, who at the time of his failed bid in October 2020 was 58, was said to have entered the performance area, filming and shouting abuse towards the performing women. At the time, he was said to be living in Leyland.
The first time Prof Whitty is believed to have been accosted in the street was in February by a young thug who put the video on TikTok.
The film showed the CMO saying hello to passers-by but he refuses to be goaded by the youth who films the scientist standing in a queue.
The yob says: ‘You’re a liar. Mandem is a liar. You lie about the Covid-19 cases man. Stop lying to the TV.’
At Westminster’s Strutton Ground market, the cameraman repeatedly called Prof Whitty a ‘liar’ while shoving the phone in Prof Whitty’s face.
At the time the epidemiologist dismissed the incident and later told a Downing Street briefing: ‘The odd young lad, showing off, occasionally happens.’
He added: ‘I’m sure he’ll become a model citizen in due course and hopefully more like Captain Tom, who is the kind of person who I think much more exemplifies the spirit of the UK.’
The youth was later told off by his mother, who told MailOnline she had confiscated his games console.
In February, a young man confronted Prof Whitty in Westminster and accused him of lying about the pandemic while filming a video on his phone for the social media site TikTok
Mr Tarjanyi, 60, of Leyland, Lancashire, also harassed Jonathan van Tam – the Deputy Chief Medical Officer – as he walked into the Ministry of Defence building last week.
He asked him ‘what was really in that needle that you put into Matt Hancock’, in relation to Professor Van-Tam giving the Health Secretary his first Covid jab in April.
Mr Tarjanyi shouted at Prof Van-Tam while a receptionist in the building asked him for advice on whether he should have the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.
Asked about the abuse, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘People working to fight the pandemic and save lives, which is what Professor Van Tam is doing every single day, should never face that kind of appalling behaviour for doing their job.
‘The right to free speech is fundamental to our democracy but violence, threats or intimidation are absolutely never acceptable.’
Mr Tarjanyi has become known online for his activism against 5G mobile networks, fracking, mask wearing and other public health measures during the pandemic.
Do you know these men? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam was filmed being abused and accused of ‘genocide’ in London last week
Geza Tarjanyi (left), of Leyland, Lancashire, targeted the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (right) last week
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