LONDON (Bywire News) - Beckenham's Tory MP, Bob Stewart, has staunchly denied allegations of racially aggravated abuse, which arose after he was reported to have told an activist to "go back to Bahrain". These developments unfolded on Wednesday, 19th July 2023.
The allegations, which are sending shockwaves through British politics, originate from an encounter last year with Bahraini activist, Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei. Mr. Alwadaei, currently living in exile after allegedly being tortured in Bahrain, lodged a complaint with the Metropolitan Police. The confrontation in question, which happened on 14th December last year, reportedly involved Mr. Stewart telling Mr. Alwadaei to "get stuffed" and accusing him of "taking money off my country".
Following an investigation, the MP was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence. The incident is said to have occurred outside Lancaster House, the Foreign Office's premises. Mr. Stewart, 74, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court to enter a plea of not guilty.
In addition to the main charge, the MP also refuted an alternative count of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. The Metropolitan Police have clarified that this second charge is designed to allow court discretion regarding the racial element of the accusation, and does not pertain to a separate event.
A trial has been set for 3rd November, at the same court.
Elected to Parliament in 2010, Mr. Stewart serves on several parliamentary committees, including the Northern Ireland affairs committee and the intelligence and security committee. Prior to his political career, he had a distinguished 26-year tenure in the Army, with service in Northern Ireland and Bosnia.
Despite the charge, Mr. Stewart has retained the Tory whip. Meanwhile, Mr. Alwadaei continues to serve as the director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.
(By Michael O'Sullivan)