Tory MP Bob Stewart tells human rights activist who was tortured to ‘go back to Bahrain’

Alwadaei asked the MP: “How much did you sell yourself to the Bahraini regime”.

Bob Stewart

Tory MP Bob Stewart is facing widespread condemnation for telling a Bahraini dissident who was imprisoned and tortured for his human rights activism in the country to ‘go back to Bahrain’.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, alleged the comments amounted to racial abuse and says that he is planning to report the incident to the police and has already filed a complaint to the Conservative Party.

Video footage has emerged of Stewart telling the campaigner that he is “taking money off my country” after he was challenged over his ties to the gulf state.

Mr Stewart told him: “Get stuffed. Bahrain is a great place, end of, go away, I hate you. You make a lot of fuss – go back to Bahrain.”

Alwadaei asked the MP: “How much did you sell yourself to the Bahraini regime”.

The MP replied: “I didn’t, now you shut up you stupid man … You’re taking money off my country, go away.”

In a statement later on, Alwadaei said: “I don’t believe I would have been told to ‘go back’ to the country that violently tortured me if it weren’t for the colour of my skin.

“No-one should be subjected to racial abuse, particularly for holding an MP to account for accepting lavish gifts from one of the world’s most repressive regimes.”

Stewart told PA: “My mistake was to actually be goaded into reaction, and I apologise for that. I also apologise if anybody thinks I was being racist — I was not. I meant go back to Bahrain, which is a perfectly safe place, and protest there.” He praised the Gulf state as a “wonderful place to live” and said that “you can worship anything you like in Bahrain — you can worship a tree.”

(Picture credit: Youtube)

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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