Nobody should have to endure the humiliation dished out to Chris Whitty on Sunday, says Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun. Britain’s top doctor was grabbed round the neck by yobs taking selfies while he was walking in a London park. Nearby police ticked off the thugs, then let them go. Just 24 hours earlier, “anti-lockdown idiots” had surrounded Whitty’s home screaming “murderer”. In these days of “routine street knifings”, it must have been terrifying. There’s even talk of England’s chief medical officer getting round-the-clock protection at the taxpayer’s expense. What nonsense. In the 21st century, we should all be safe to walk the streets “alone and unguarded”.
The buck stops in Westminster for this “devastating breakdown in public order”. Just last week Newsnight’s political editor, Nick Watt, was chased by a jeering mob into the sanctuary of Downing Street – in front of uniformed ranks of police who watched and did nothing. I don’t blame ordinary bobbies, who endure “spittle in their faces and bottles and sticks hurled at them”. They are “lions led by politically correct donkeys terrified of putting a foot wrong with increasingly violent activists on both the left and the right”. The disturbing truth is that the Metropolitan Police, and other right-on constabularies, have given up the ghost with the mob. We used to respect our police. “That respect is fast diminishing.”
The episode will have brought back “chilling memories” for Chris Whitty, says Jane Merrick in the I newspaper. His father, Kenneth, a cultural attaché at the British embassy in Athens, was shot in the head by an Arab terrorist in 1984. He was 44 and his son was just 17. The killing was “a tragic case of mistaken identity” – the intended target was an MI6 agent from whom Whitty had recently bought a car.
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