Twitter reverses decision to suspend Lee Hurst's account following Chris Whitty comments

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Lee Hurst has been suspended from Twitter for the second time this year. (AP)
Lee Hurst has been suspended from Twitter for the second time this year. (AP)

UPDATE: Twitter has reversed its decision to suspend Lee Hurst's Twitter account.

"We took enforcement action on the account you referenced in error," a Twitter spokesperson tells Yahoo. "That has since been reversed."

The social media platform added that it has "clear rules in place to address threats of violence, abuse and harassment, and hateful conduct" and will take action when it identifies accounts that violate these Rules. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Lee Hurst has been suspended from Twitter for comments he made on the platform after video emerged of Professor Chris Whitty being harassed in public.

The 58-year-old comedian — who describes himself as a "Proud Covidiot" — tweeted: "Whatever has happened to Chris Whitty is not enough."

PA NEWS PHOTO 20/10/97  Comedian Lee Hurst   (Photo by David Cheskin - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Comedian Lee Hurst (David Cheskin - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Prof Whitty, England's chief medical officer, has been a prominent public face of the government's coronavirus response.

Read more: Martin Lewis recalls 'scary' encounter with member of public

Former They Think It's All Over panellist Hurst went on to tell his 18k followers: "I'm not putting any caveats into the Chris Whitty story. Fk him and his #FullPay, care home murdering scummy pals."

England�s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, outside the Department of Health, in central London, he has declined to comment on Matt Hancock�s actions. Picture date: Friday June 25, 2021.
England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty was harassed in the street in a video posted on social media. (PA)

He added: "If there was no video footage of Chris Whitty we would have been told he was beaten up."

Twitter has now suspended his account @leehurstcomic for violation of the platform’s rules.

Watch: Chris Whitty attacked in a park

Twitter rules on Hateful Conduct state: “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

As a consequence of breaching the rules, users are asked to remove offensive tweets themselves and put into a period of temporary suspension. Refusal to comply “may eventually result in permanent account suspension”.

Comic Lee Hurst was previously suspended from Twitter for a joke he made about Greta Thunberg. (PA)
Comic Lee Hurst was previously suspended from Twitter for a joke he made about Greta Thunberg. (PA)

Hurst was previously suspended from the social media platform over a joke he made about teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg in March this year.

Hurst tweeted: "As soon as Greta discovers c***, she'll stop complaining about the single use plastic it's wrapped in."

His temporary suspension was lifted and his account was reactivated the same month.

Read more: Rapper Wiley 'fully suspended' from Twitter over anti-Semitism

Twitter rules state suspension will last from 24 hours to seven days depending on the nature of the violation. But repeat offences can result in full account deletion.

Yahoo UK has contacted Twitter for comment.

Watch: Police are investigating the Chris Whitty harassment video

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