Crowdfund appeal for Tory MP caught up in race row raises £10k in just two days

MP Bob Stewart tells campaigner to ‘go back to Bahrain’

A crowdfund appeal set up to help war hero turned MP Colonel Bob Stewart pay his legal fees in a racism case has raised £10,000 in just 54 hours.

The appeal has been backed by Tory MPs including Deputy Chairman Lee Anderson, deputy chairman of the Common Sense Group Tom Hunt and chairman of the Blue Collar Conservatism movement Brendan Clarke-Smith.

It comes as MPs are pressuring Rishi sunak and his chief whip Simon Hart to allow Colonel Stewart back into the parliamentary party after he resigned the whip following his conviction last week.

Mr Hunt told “There have been a number of issues over the past year or so that have made my blood boil but I think this takes the prize.

“When you think of all the things that don’t end up in court. Burglaries, repeat shop theft you name it, but this does!”

READ MORE: Tory MP guilty of racially abusing embassy protester

He went on: “What a complete waste of the court’s time and to think it ended up in a conviction. I fear this will have chilling consequences.

“It’s also worth pointing out that the man in question was screaming and shouting at Colonel Bob as he was minding his own business queuing up for an event.”

Mr Clarke-Smith told “The fact we’ve already raised over £10,000 in just over two days shows not only the strength of feeling about this particular case, but also the high regard Colonel Stewart is held in.

“Some of the comments from well-wishers are truly heartening, especially from those who served alongside him during his distinguished military career.”

Colonel Stewart was convicted of racially abusing a protester by suggesting he ashould “go back to Bahrain”.

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The court was told how the protester Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei how shouted in Colonel Stewart’s face calling him corrupt.

The MP for Beckenham, South East London, was fined £600 with additional legal costs bringing the total to £1,435.

Stewart, 74, had denied committing a racially aggravated public order offence and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He claimed that he had said Alwadaei should “go back to Bahrain” to make his point about that country’s government there.

However, the conviction has seen an outpouring of support for the veteran MP who first came to public prominance when he led the UN’s mission to Bosnia during the Yugoslav war.

One of his supporters if former army officer turned businessman Az Chowdhury, who said: “As his friend who happens to be a first generation Muslim Bengali immigrant, I can personally vouch for the fact that The Rt. Hon. Col. Bob Stewart DSO MP may be many things, but a racist he is not.”

Among the 146 who have commented so far on the crowdfund site was Mr Anderson who said: “Keep your chin up old soldier. Lee Anderson MP.”

Another donor, Brian Cooke wrote: “Quite outrageous that you were convicted. You must appeal, please do. What is this country coming to.”

Major David Llewellyn Davies said: “Keep on ‘soldiering’ Colonel – you clearly think what millions of us feel.”

However, opposition parties have said that the Conservatives should withdraw the whip from Colonel Stewart.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “It’s time Sunak finally acted with integrity. This should start with immediately removing the whip from Bob Stewart.

“Failing to remove the whip sends a dangerous message that behaviour like this is acceptable.

“Rishi Sunak has allowed his first year as Prime Minister to he dogged in sleaze and scandal, the very least he could do now is to finally crack down on it.”

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