Tory responsible of racial offence pronounces he is quitting as an MP at subsequent election
A Tory MP discovered responsible of a racially aggravated public order offence after telling an activist to “go back to Bahrain” has introduced he’ll stop as an MP on the subsequent basic election.
Bob Stewart – a former British Army officer – introduced he had surrendered the Conservative whip earlier this month whereas he appeals the conviction over an incident in 2022.
Last night time Mr Stewart mentioned: “Serving Beckenham as its Member of Parliament for 13 years has been an honour and privilege. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has given me this opportunity. “However, it’s time for a brand new candidate, so I can’t be looking for re-election on the subsequent election”.
Mr Stewart, who received a majority of 14,258 in his Beckenham seat in 2019, joins a rising variety of Tory MPs saying they are going to stop the Commons on the basic election because the Conservatives proceed trial Keir Starmer’s Labour within the nationwide polls.
The Beckenham MP Mr Stewart was fined £600 and ordered to pay a further £835 in legal costs by Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this month following the heated exchange row with campaigner Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei last December.
The Metropolitan Police launched a probe following a complaint from Mr Alwadaei, a Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) activist, who says he is living in exile after being tortured in the Gulf state.
During a one-day hearing, the court heard that Mr Alwadaei shouted “Bob Stewart, for a way a lot did you promote your self to the Bahraini regime” as the MP attended an event hosted by the Bahraini embassy at the Foreign Office’s Lancaster House in Westminster.
During a heated exchange, Mr Stewart replied: “Go away, I hate you. You make plenty of fuss. Go again to Bahrain.” In footage played during the trial, he also said: “Now shut up, you silly man.” The court also heard that he told Mr Alwadaei “you are taking cash off my nation, go away!” during the confrontation.
The MP said at the time he was “deeply hurt” to find himself on trial as he argued he had spent his entire life “defending minorities and people of different colours”.
The former Army officer who was stationed in Bahrain in 1969, said he is a “buddy” of the Middle Eastern country. He told the court he had “no concept” who Mr Alwadaei was and said he used the word “hate” to refer to the protester’s words. He went on: “‘Go again to Bahrain’ meant ‘Why do not you return to Bahrain and make your level there?”‘ He told of being “goaded” and “embarrassed” by Mr Alwadaei.
Mr Stewart insisted was not a racist and he had been offended by Mr Alwadaei’s claim he was corrupt. “My honour was at stake in entrance of a lot of ambassadors. It upset me and I assumed it was extraordinarily offensive,” he said.
Luke Murphy, who is one of those running to be Labour’s candidate in the seat, said: “The resolution by Bob Stewart MP to step down is the suitable one. But Beckenham and Penge doesn’t want one other Tory MP with extra of the identical failed concepts & poor illustration. It wants a contemporary begin, a Labour MP and a Labour Government”.