Chris Whitty yob Lewis Hughes claims he ‘just wanted a selfie to show MUM’ as top prof is ‘so famous’

A YOB who bundled Chris Whitty into a headlock claims he just wanted to take a selfie so he could show his mum.

Lewis Hughes and pal Jonathan Chew, both 24, filmed themselves grabbing England’s chief medical officer after an anti-lockdown protest.

Boris Johnson branded them "despicable thugs" after the footage went viral.

But Hughes insists he was just trying to get a selfie with the top epidemiologist when he spotted him in St James' Park on Sunday.

He told The Sun: “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.”

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Hughes, who worked for Caplen Estates Agents, has now lost his job after his boss saw the shocking footage.

And he apologised for his actions – saying he paid the price with his "job".

He added: “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."

He went on: “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.

Meanwhile, his friend Chew said he suffered from ADHD and autism, adding: “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’.

“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.

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