Tory peer 'insulted' before egg hit face

A Muslim Tory peer was subjected to verbal insults before being hit by an egg which broke on her face, a court has heard.

Dewsbury peer Baroness Warsi, now chairman of the Conservative Party, was confronted by a group who shouted abuse including "Cameron's bitch" before being targeted with eggs, one of which smashed, soiling her hair and jacket, City of Westminster Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

The then Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action was visiting Luton on November 30 last year when the attack happened.

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Baroness Warsi, who became Minister without Portfolio in May and is the first female Muslim Cabinet Minister, was accompanying Nigel Huddleston, the Tory prospective Parliamentary candidate for Luton South and business leaders on a tour of the Bury Park area.

Prosecutor Peter Ratliff said: "The Baroness's group was confronted by a group of Muslim men. The Crown suggest the confrontation was planned and deliberate. The men shouted abuse calling her 'Cameron's bitch', 'supporters of murderers' and 'un-Islamic'.

"Two or three eggs were thrown at the Baroness. One was thrown a short distance and broke on her face."

Mr Ratliff said the aim of the confrontation was to "humiliate and ridicule" the Baroness.

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Gavin Reid, 23, of Green Close, Luton, denies a charge under the Public Order Act, of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress.

The court was told that Reid was arrested 15 days after the attack and gave no comment during his police interview.

Giving evidence, Ashley Green, deputy chairman of the local Conservative Association, recalled a group of men who surrounded Baroness Warsi on the roadside, "talking to her in very heated terms".

He said: "I heard a thud. I wasn't sure what it was...I noticed a man running away."

The trial continues.