Tory MP Bob Stewart charged with racially abusing activist
Conservative MP Bob Stewart has been charged with racially abusing a man he allegedly told to “go back to Bahrain”.
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 MP for Beckenham in south-east London is alleged to have told Mr Alwadaei during an angry confrontation on December 14 to “get stuffed” and that he is “taking money off my country”.
The Met said on Monday that the 73-year-old politician has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence over the incident outside the Foreign Office’s Lancaster House.
He will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 5.
The MP is also charged with an alternative count of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
This is to allow the court discretion on the racial element of the allegation and does not relate to a separate incident, the Met said.
It is understood that Stewart will keep the Tory whip following the authorisation of the charges.
Stewart, a former British Army officer, has represented Beckenham since 2010 and is currently the chairman of the all-parliamentary group on Bahrain.
Mr Alwadaei, 36, who said he was tortured after taking part in anti-government protests in the country, is the director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.
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