A video has been circulated on social media that appears to show the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, being manhandled by two men as he desperately tries to escape.
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi described the footage as "disgusting" and branded the individuals as "thugs" who should be charged for their behaviour towards the public servant.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed they are aware of the video being shared across Twitter and Facebook and are in contact with the scientist.
According to officers the incident happened at St James’s Park in central London and those involved were spoken to at the time.
In the distressing video the over enthusiastic pair appear to grab Prof Whitty in a headlock while one of the men films the scene as a selfie.
As the two thugs look into the camera they repeatedly shout excitedly and attempt to hold onto the epidemiologist as he tries to wriggle free.
The two men seem oblivious to the fact that Professor Whitty is clearly uncomfortable with the encounter before he eventually manages to break free from the rough and tumble.
The Met Police did not confirm when the incident occurred.
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Across social media people were horrified by the episode with many calling for the scientist to receive protection when out in public.
In his tweet Nadhim Zahawi wrote: "This is disgusting and these thugs must be found and charged. Zero tolerance for harassing a public servant."
Good Morning Presenter and actor Adil Ray was equally appalled and tweeted: "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.
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"Meanwhile @BorisJohnson please provide Chris Whitty with security."
Meanwhile the the Met Police tweeted: “We are aware of a video being shared online showing an incident in St James’s Park. 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.”
It is not the first time the Chief Medical Officer has been accosted by a member of the public and filmed.
In February footage emerged showing a youth abusing Prof Whitty while he was out walking near Westminster and accused of "lying to the TV".
The young man was widely condemned for the prank with Professor Whitty commenting: "I'm sure he'll become a model citizen in due course."
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