MP Bob Stewart leaves court on November 3 after being found guilty of racially abusing Syed Ahmed Alwaday by telling him: “Go back ” to Bahrain" and “you're taking money from my country” during an argument outside the Foreign Office's Lancaster House in Westminster Photo: JAMES MANNING/PA
Bob Stewart, the Conservative MP who resigned the party whip after being found guilty of racial slurs, announced he would resign next election.
Mr Stewart, who has represented the south-east London constituency of Beckenham since 2010, said he would not seek re-election in a brief statement on Twitter that made no mention of the recent conviction. .
Earlier this month, a government source told the PA news agency that Mr Stewart had told Simon Hart, the party's chief whip, that he wanted to surrender the party whip until a possible appeal was resolved. his sentence.
Mr. Stewart is currently an independent member of the House of Commons.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve Beckenham as a Member of Parliament for 13 years. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who gave me this opportunity. However, it is time for a new candidate, so I will not seek re-election in the next election.
— Bob Stewart MP (@Bob4Beckenham) November 18, 2023
The geographical boundary of the constituency of Beckenham is expected to be changed at the next general election following a regular review process carried out by the Borders Commission for England, which aims to ensure greater population homogeneity across all seats in Westminster.
A new constituency of Beckenham has been proposed and Penge.
Stewart, 74, who is also a former British army officer and served as UN commander in Bosnia, was found guilty at London's Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this month of racially abusing an activist when he advised him to “go back to Bahrain.” .
Paul Goldspring, the chief judge, found the MP guilty of a racially aggravated public order offense and, despite mentioning Mr Stewart's “extremely positive character”, said: “I accept he is not a racist per se, but he is not a case against him. Good people can do bad things.”
A crowdfunding page to cover Mr Stewart's fine and legal costs has so far raised £18,000. Photo: JAMES MANNING/PA
Mr Stewart was attending an event organized by the Bahraini embassy in London on December 14 last year when he was confronted by a protester. who asked him: “How much did you sell yourself to the Bahrain regime for?”
Responding to accusations of racist abuse, Mr Stewart previously said: “It's absurd, it's completely unfair, my life has been I don't want to say , which has been destroyed, but it deeply pains me to face such a trial.”
The MP said he was not a racist and added: “Go back to Bahrain.” meant: “Why don't you go back to Bahrain and make your point there?”
A crowdfunding page set up by Brendan Clarke-Smith, Conservative MP for Bassetlaw, to publicize Stewart's fine and any further legal action The costs have already raised more than £18,000.
Mr Stewart joins a growing list of Tory MPs who have announced they will not stand in the next general election, expected next year.