23/06/2021 14:32 BST

No.10 Condemns ‘Appalling’ Street Abuse Of Jonathan Van-Tam

England’s deputy chief medical officer was pursued and filmed by anti-vaxxer who said he was “going to prison for genocide”.

TOBY MELVILLE via Getty Images
England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam at a Downing Street Covid briefing

Downing Street has hit out at the “appalling” street abuse of England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam by an anti-vax protester.

A man identifying on Facebook as Geza Tarjanyi filmed himself on Tuesday pursuing Van-Tam into the Ministry of Defence, saying the scientist was a “traitor” who was “going to prison” for “genocide” and asking: “what was really in that needle you put into Matt Hancock?”

In the video, the man is seen pursuing Van-Tam into the building’s reception and berating him over the government’s coronavirus response.

Van-Tam simply smiles and goes about his business without responding to the man, who pursues him for around two-and-a-half minutes. 

Commenting on the video, the prime minister’s official spokesperson said: “People working to fight the pandemic and save lives, which is what professor Van-Tam is doing every single day, should never face that kind of appalling behaviour for doing their job.

“The right to free speech is fundamental to our democracy but violence, threats or intimidation is absolutely never acceptable.”

Van-Tam, alongside chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, has been one of the government’s leading scientific voices during the Covid pandemic.

Hancock, the health secretary, was pictured being vaccinated by Van-Tam in April.

The man identifying as Tarjanyi has previously posted videos of himself on Facebook also harassing Whitty in a similar manner to Van-Tam.