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Conservative MP Bob Stewart charged with racially aggravated abuse

Tory backbencher keeps the whip, as he prepares for court appearance over incident involving Bahraini activist

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Editor
,Adam Forrest
Monday 05 June 2023 19:11 BST
<p>Tory MP Bob Stewart is due to appear in court in July (Philip Toscano/PA)</p>

Tory MP Bob Stewart is due to appear in court in July (Philip Toscano/PA)

A Conservative MP has been charged with racially-aggravated abuse over an encounter with a Bahraini activist outside a Foreign Office building in London.

The Metropolitan Police said Bob Stewart was being prosecuted over an incident outside Lancaster House in the Belgravia area on 14 December last year.

The MP for Beckenham in south-east London is alleged to have told the activist during the angry confrontation to “get stuffed” and “go back to Bahrain” and that he is “taking money off my country”.

It is understood that Mr Stewart will retain the Tory party whip despite the charges. Party sources said the MP regretted his comments – but would the fight the charges against him in court.

The 73-year-old is accused of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, where the offence was racially aggravated.

Mr Stewart also faces an alternative charge of threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation after a complaint was made by activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who has said he is living in exile after being tortured in the Gulf state.

The incident took place outside an event hosted by the Bahraini embassy, when Mr Stewart was challenged by the activist about his views on the country and its human rights record.

Mr Stewart is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 5 July.

The former British Army officer has represented Beckenham, in south-east London, since 2010.

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