A video showing professor Chris Whitty being verbally abused in the middle of the street has been branded “appalling” by an MP.
The TikTok video, that was widely shared on social media on Tuesday, shows the chief medical officer walking on Westminster's Strutton Ground market before stopping and putting on a face mask while waiting to order lunch.
As he stands on the street, a TikTok user films Whitty and repeatedly calls him a “liar” while the professor remains silent.
At one point, the person filming the video tells Whitty that is "lying about the Covid-19 cases” and tells him to “stop lying to the TV, man”.
Tory MP Matt Vickers blasted the actions of the person filming the video and urged Twitter followers to share the clip.
He tweeted: “This is appalling, I really can't believe this footage.
“Chris Whitty is doing all he can to help guide us through this crisis and should never be subjected to this abuse.”
Commenting on the person who filmed the clip, Vickers added to The Guardian: “Perhaps he should be made to volunteer on a COVID ward.
“Perhaps then he will feel a pinch of shame and embarrassment for his dangerous conspiracies and yobbish behaviour.”
Yahoo News UK has contacted the Department for Health and Social Care for a comment.
Whitty has become a prominent figure in the coronavirus pandemic, regularly fronting press conferences with the prime minister to give updates and advice.
As the vaccination programme continues in the UK, Whitty has warned that any restrictions that may be lifted may have to be reintroduced in the winter.
He said: “We might have to bring in a few in the next winter for example, that’s possible, because winter will benefit the virus.”
Figures released on Tuesday showed a further 1,449 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 108,013.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 125,000 deaths involving the disease in the UK.
The government also said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 16,840 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
This is the lowest reported daily total of new cases since 9 December, when 16,578 cases were recorded.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,852,623.
Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown