UK lawmaker faces racism public order charge

London, June 5 (AFP/APP): A British lawmaker who once commanded UN peacekeepers in Bosnia was on Monday charged by police with two public order offences, including one that was “racially aggravated”.

Conservative MP Bob Stewart faces one charge of “using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour and the offence was racially aggravated”, London’s Metropolitan Police said.

The 73-year-old lawmaker has also been charged with “using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress”, it added.

“Both offences are alleged to have occurred on Wednesday, 14 December 2022 in Belgravia, London,” the Met noted, saying Stewart will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 5.

The force said it had received an online report four days later from a man alleging he had been verbally racially abused, and that following an investigation prosecutors had authorised the charges.

It did not disclose further details about the incident.

The Guardian reported last year that Stewart was involved in a December 14 confrontation with a Bahraini human rights activist.

The newspaper posted video footage showing the Tory MP yelling at Sayed Alwadaei, the director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, outside a reception hosted by the Bahraini embassy.

Alwadaei could be heard questioning Stewart about a trip paid for by the Bahraini government, asking the British lawmaker “how much did you sell yourself to the Bahraini regime?”