A man has been charged with common assault after England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, was accosted in a central London park.

Lewis Hughes, 23, of Wigton Way, Romford, east London, was charged on Thursday evening and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday July 30, the Metropolitan Police said.

An investigation was launched after Professor Whitty was accosted by a group of men in St James’s Park at around 7.20pm on Sunday.

Officers spoke to Prof Whitty, who did not suffer any injuries, and checked his welfare.

Mr Hughes, from Romford in Essex, has apologised to Prof Whitty for "any upset I caused", but lost his job as an estate agent following the incident.

Mr Hughes said if he made England’s Chief Medical Officer feel "uncomfortable", then he was "sorry to him for that".

The video, which lasts around 20 seconds and was filmed in St James’s Park, shows two grinning men grabbing Prof Whitty as they ask "one photo please?".

As Prof Whitty attempts to walk away, the men grab him again, while a voice is heard saying "leave the gentleman alone", before the clip ends.

Mr Hughes, a 23-year-old estate agent, said he had lost his job following the incident, telling The Sun: "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."

The Met said officers had reviewed the footage and the matter was referred to the Public Order Crime Team.