POLICE said on Monday (5) they had charged a member of parliament (MP) from prime minister Rishi Sunak’s ruling Tory party with racially aggravated behaviour.
Bob Stewart was charged after police received an online report from a man alleging he had been “verbally racially abused” in December last year.
Stewart has been an MP for over a decade and represents London’s Beckenham constituency in the House of Commons.
He did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.
Police said Stewart was also charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress as an alternative charge relating to the same incident, allowing the court discretion on the race element.
Police said Stewart was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 5.
Local media reported that the charges related to an incident last year in which Stewart told an activist who confronted him in central London to “go back to Bahrain”.
Stewart told Sky News in December that his comments were a mistake on his part.
Sunak has faced a series of challenges involving lawmakers within his party, including the recent resignation of his deputy Dominic Raab after formal complaints about his behaviour.
A spokesperson for Sunak declined to comment immediately when asked about the case.