UK Conservative lawmaker found guilty of racially aggravated order offence

LONDON (Reuters) – A lawmaker in British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservative Party was found guilty on Friday of a racially aggravated public order offence, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Bob Stewart, who has been a member of parliament since 2010, was reported by local media to have told an activist who confronted him during a protest in central London last year to “go back to Bahrain”.

Stewart, who had been attending an event hosted by the government of Bahrain, had denied the charge. He was fined 600 pounds ($743).

“His claim that his words were misinterpreted were rejected by the court in light of evidence presented … including footage filmed by a witness and the victim’s testimony,” Claire Walsh, the CPS’ Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor said.

“Hatred of any kind has no place in society and wherever our legal test is met, the CPS will not hesitate to prosecute those who perpetrate hate crimes.”

($1 = 0.8078 pounds)

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Andy Bruce)