Bob Stewart: Tory MP charged with racially abusing activist he allegedly told to ‘go back to Bahrain’
The Beckenham MP also allegedly told activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei that he was ‘taking money off my country’ during an exchange last year
Conservative Party MP Bob Stewart has been charged with racially abusing a man he allegedly told to “go back to Bahrain”.
The Metropolitan Police said on Monday (5 June) that the 73-year-old politician had been charged on two counts - a racially aggravated public order offence, and using threatening or abusive language likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress.
An investigation was first launched after activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei reported the MP for Beckenham in south-east London following a confrontation which allegedly took place on 14 December 2022, outside the Foreign Office’s Lancaster House.
Mr Alwadaei, who says he’s living in exile after being tortured in the Gulf state of Bahrain, claimed that Stewart told him to “get stuffed” and “go back to Bahrain”. The MP also allegedly told Mr Alwadaei that he was “taking money off my country”.
Stewart, a former British Army officer, has represented his Beckenham constituency since 2010 and is currently the chairman of the all-parliamentary group on Bahrain. He will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 5 July.
In a statement, the Met Police said: “Robert Alexander Stewart, 73, a Member of Parliament, of Beckenham, Bromley, was charged by postal requisition on Monday June 5 with:
- Using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour and the offence was racially aggravated. (Contrary to section 31 (1) (c) and (5) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.)
- Using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. (Contrary to section 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act 1986.)
“Both offences are alleged to have occurred on Wednesday, 14 December 2022 in Belgravia, London, SW1. Stewart will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 5 July”.
It added that both charges related to the same incident and that the “second offence is an alternative charge to allow the court discretion on the racial element”.
Mr Alwadaei, 36 - who made the complaint - is currently the director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.