Conservative MP Bob Stewart has been found guilty of a hate crime against Bahraini activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadei. The verdict was delivered by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at the Westminster Magistrates Court in London. Stewart had made derogatory remarks towards Alwadei, telling him to “go back to Bahrain” and accusing him of taking money from the UK. The incident occurred outside an event hosted by the Government of Bahrain in December 2022.
During the one-day trial, Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring fined Stewart £600 but did not impose any jail time. The CPS stated that Stewart would have received a fine of £400, but the use of racist language, which Stewart claimed was misinterpreted, elevated the offense to a serious hate crime. In addition to the fine, Stewart is required to pay legal costs amounting to £835.
Prosecutor Paul Jarvis informed the court that Alwadei felt “upset and humiliated” by Stewart’s comments. Stewart’s solicitor, Paul Cavin KC, argued that Alwadei had no right to confront Stewart in public and hinted at a potential response from the House of Commons. Cavin claimed that any hostility displayed by Stewart was a reaction to Alwadei’s behavior towards him.
Following the guilty verdict, opposition parties, including Labour and the Liberal Democrats, called for the removal of the Conservative whip from Bob Stewart. Labour Chair Anneliese Dodds described Stewart’s behavior as “totally unacceptable” and urged immediate action. If the whip is removed, Stewart would have to serve as an independent MP. The Conservative Party and Bob Stewart have not yet commented on the guilty verdict.