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British man charged with inciting racial hatred in Brussels tweet

Matthew Doyle to face court charged under the Public Order Act after confronting Muslim woman to 'explain Brussels'
Photo of Matthew Doyle, a partner at PR agency, who was arrested by police on 23 March 2016 (Twitter)

British police have charged a man who tweeted about confronting a Muslim woman and asking her to explain the Brussels attacks.

Matthew Doyle, a partner at a south London based talent and PR agency, was arrested on Wednesday and charged on Friday under the Public Order Act for posting allegedly racist comments.

The Metropolitan Police said Doyle, 46, “has been charged under section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986; publishing or distributing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, likely or intended to stir up racial hatred”.

“This follows an investigation by officers at Croydon police community safety unit.”

Doyle posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday, “I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said 'Nothing to do with me'. A mealy mouthed reply.”

The tweet was subsequently deleted by Doyle on the same day, but not before it elicited a barrage of responses.

“Confronted an orange yesterday in Croydon. Asked it to explain Donald Trump's face. It said 'Nothing to do with me'. A mealy mouthed reply,” tweeted JudeinLondon.

Doyle also tweeted: “Who cares if I insulted some towelhead??” but appeared to backtrack after an interview with the Daily Telegraph on Thursday: "I'm not some far-right merchant, I'm not a mouthpiece for any kind of racism or radicalism," he said. 

"If I was xenophobic I wouldn't live in London," he said.

The 46-year-old will appear before Camberwell Green magistrates court on Saturday.