Daniel Kawczynski

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Daniel Kawczynski
MP
Official portrait of Daniel Kawczynski crop 2.jpg
Kawczynski in June 2017
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Glyn Davies
Succeeded by David Morris
Member of Parliament
for Shrewsbury and Atcham
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Paul Marsden
Majority 6,627 (11.4%)
Personal details
Born (1972-01-24) 24 January 1972 (age 45)
Warsaw, Poland
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Kate (m.2000–2011, div.)
Residence Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Alma mater University of Stirling
Profession Accounting Manager
Website Official Website

Daniel Robert Kawczynski (born 24 January 1972) is a British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Shrewsbury and Atcham in Shropshire, England.[1] The first British MP born in Poland,[2] he was raised in England from the age of seven.

He was a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a parliamentary aide to the former Welsh Secretary David Jones.[3] He is a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and in 2014 he was appointed as Special Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron on Central and Eastern Europe and on Central and Eastern Europeans living in the United Kingdom.[4]

Biography[edit]

Kawczynski came to England as a seven-year-old from Poland with his parents.[5] He was educated at St George's College, Weybridge, an independent Roman Catholic school in Surrey, followed by Birmingham Polytechnic and then the University of Stirling in Scotland, where he read Business Studies with Languages,[6] and was President of the University Conservative Association in 1991.

Kawczynski worked in the business entertainment industry before he became an international account manager in the telecommunications industry, a position he held for ten years.[6] Kawczynski first stood for Parliament in the 2001 general election for Ealing Southall and came a distant second with 18% of the vote.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Kawczynski was elected for the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency at the 2005 general election, succeeding Labour's Paul Marsden with 37.7% of the vote, compared to 34.1% for Labour and 22.8% for the Liberal Democrats.[8] He was re-elected at the 2010 general election with 43.9% of the vote, compared to 29.0% for the Liberal Democrats in second.[9] Kawczynski held his seat in the 2015 general election, coming out ahead of the Labour and UKIP candidates with 45.5% of the vote to 27.8% and 14.4%, respectively.[10]

He sat as a member of both the International Development Select Committee and the Justice Select Committee, but was criticised by the Birmingham Post in 2009 for failing to regularly attend the meetings of the Select Committees to which he had been appointed.[11] Kawczynski was recorded as having attended only 12.5% of all Justice Select Committee meetings and 31.3% of International Development Select Committee meetings during that last Parliamentary session. He stated the figure for the international development committee was wrong and he had been unable to attend the justice committee meetings because they clashed.[11] Media noted his higher attendance of debates during the 2010-2015 Parliament, which amounted to 29,[12] noting that he had voted on 80.06% of issues, which is considered as above average amongst MPs.[13]

Kawczynski is a keen supporter of fox hunting[14] and advocates keeping the First Past the Post voting system.[15] In 2007, he signed an Early Day Motion that welcomed the "positive contribution made to the health of the nation by the NHS homeopathic hospitals".[16] In May 2008, he voted to lower the abortion time limit to 12 weeks,[17] and has stated that he believes an abortion limit of 24 weeks is incompatible with the kind of "Christian society" he wishes to live in.[18] He also voted against a House of Lords amendment to abolish the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel under common law.[19] The abortion time limit vote failed and the blasphemy vote passed. Kawczynski voted in favour of same sex marriage in 2013, revealing shortly afterwards that he was in a same-sex relationship.

In 2006, Kawczynski briefly appeared on the "Better Know A District" segment of American satirical programme The Colbert Report.[citation needed] In October 2009, Kawczynski appeared on The Doha Debates as a delegate supporting the motion of "This house deplores the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi".[20]

In 2010 Kawczynski published a book called Seeking Gaddafi about Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Political blogger Paul Staines (aka, the blogger Guido Fawkes) has accused Kawczynski of using 5,000-word essay submissions by interviewees for an unpaid internship as the basis of his book commenting on the inconsistency of style throughout the book and similarity of chapter titles to the submitted essays.[21] When Kawczynski later advertised another unpaid internship[22] for his new book entitled Saudi Arabia, Staines claimed that this was "nothing but a con."[21]

In September 2012, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP.[3] When Jones lost his job, so did Kawczynski.

Kawczynski is a member of the socially conservative Cornerstone Group, chairman of the All-Party Group for Saudi Arabia (as of 2011 and March 2015),[23][24][25][26] chairman of the All-Party Group for Libya,[27] chairman of the All-Party Group for Poland[28] and a vice-chairman of Conservative Friends of Poland.[29]

In October 2013 Kawczynski received widespread press attention for berating a one-legged wheelchair user for begging outside the Houses of Parliament.[30][31][32]

At 6 feet 8 12 inches (204.5 cm), he claimed after his first election in 2005 to be the tallest MP in history and "officially a giant".[33]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Kawczynski is a vociferous supporter of the Saudi Arabian government[34] On one of his trips to Saudi Arabia, Kawczynski told Salman Al Saud (who is now King) how proud he was of the military cooperation between the two countries. He later said that he was writing "the most pro-Saudi book ever written by a British politician" and that he had been "battling against extraordinary ignorance and prejudice against Saudi Arabia for many years".[34]

Following an appearance on Newsnight in which he defended the Saudi regime's approach to the war in Yemen and accused the programme of bias, Kawcynski threatened legal action after its editor Ian Katz suggested his strength of feeling on the issue might be linked to the size of the budget for his expenses on trips to Saudi Arabia.[35] After justice secretary Michael Gove cancelled a prison contract with Saudi Arabia, Kawczynski was so enraged that he slapped his forehead and shouted "no!" during a parliamentary debate on the issue.[34][36]

Extra-parliamentary career and Register of Interests[edit]

Since 2010 Kawczynski has cooperated with various British companies and supported their exports to Middle East, Africa and Europe. His consultancy expertise includes engineering, mining, nuclear energy, telecommunications, agricultural planning and public relations. Some of the companies which Kawczynski has been involved with are Tigris, Shamraeff, Chelgate, CGI Consulting and Hobsons Brewery.

Since becoming the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland, Kawczynski has supported a range of enterprises from his constituency in seeking business partners and export markets in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries and on many occasions encouraged Shropshire businesses to contact him if they needed advice.[37] Kawczynski has been a frequent visitor to the British Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw where he often described the importance of trade between Poland and the United Kingdom.

During his visit on 1 September 2014, Kawczynski stressed the need for the Polish diaspora in the UK to foster the trade relationship between the two countries, stating that: "we want to harness the talents and engage with the Polish diaspora which numbers at least 600,000. Their knowledge, expertise and contacts ought to be taken advantage of. We have learnt how advantageous it has been to harness the Indian diaspora to leverage British interests in the Indian subcontinent. Yet we've not effectively harnessed the extraordinarily talented resource of Poles in the UK. Doctors, architects, scientists who've chosen to live and work in the UK could be leveraging UK influence in Poland, interacting with the Polish government".[38] Kawczynski has also cooperated with the Federation of Small Businesses and the UK Trade & Investment in Serbia and in Poland. At a meeting in the Chamber of Commerce he praised Martin Oxley, the head of the Polish UKTI, for his excellent work with regard to UK-Polish economic relations, saying that "Mr Oxley is worth his weight in gold and you can minute that."[38]

In September 2014, Kawczynski visited Krynica International Economic Forum, billed as the "Davos for Eastern Europe" by the World Bank.[39] He participated in various economic debates and conferences, notably the "Poland – Science and Innovation – Strategies for Growth"[40] where he focused on explaining the importance of improving the cooperation between British, Polish and German universities.

The Polish community in the United Kingdom created a grass-roots portal promoting Kawczynski's activities which foster the British-Polish links. The portal under the name "Daniel Kawczynski - British-Polish Relations"[41] mentions the events that Kawczynski organised for the Polish community, the meetings he had with Polish war veterans and politicians as well as his actions in promoting the post-Brexit rights of EU citizens. During Polish President's visit to London in September 2015 Daniel Kawczynski co-hosted an event with Defence Secretary Michael Fallon paying a tribute to over two dozens of Polish war veterans who fought together with the Allies during the Second World War.[42] In July 2016 Kawczynski held a first ever Westminster Hall debate on the positive influence of Polish immigrants to the UK economy which gathered 23 MPs.[43] In 2016 Daniel Kawczynski was distinguished as an "Outstanding Pole Abroad of 2016"[44] for his efforts in promoting trade and political relations between the United Kingdom and his country of birth. On 18th July 2017 Kawczynski hosted another British-Polish event in the House of Commons, where he criticised the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and called for permanent NATO bases to be established in eastern Poland as a sign of increased cooperation between Poland and the UK.[45]

Kawczynski has a wide range of political and business contacts, including individuals, organisations and Governments, such as Poland, Serbia, United States, Hungary, Sweden, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Morocco, Israel, Sudan, India and the Conservative Arab Network.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Kawczynski married in 2000 and divorced in 2011. In June 2013, he announced to his Conservative Association that his new partner is male.[46] He is the second MP in Britain to come out as bisexual, the first being Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes.[47][48] He currently lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daniel Kawczynski". BBC. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Parliamentlive.tv". parliamentlive.tv. 
  3. ^ a b Cornock, David (10 September 2012). "David Jones appoints English MP as his 'eyes and ears'". BBC News. 
  4. ^ "Shrewsbury’s MP Daniel Kawczynski relishing his new advisory role for David Cameron". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Daniel Robert Kawczynski". Politics.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ealing Southall". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Shrewsbury and Atcham". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Shrewsbury & Atcham". BBC. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Live UK election results". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Erdington and Shrewsbury MPs under-fire for non-attendance". Birmingham Post. 9 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "Constituency profile: North Shropshire - Paterson on course for Commons return". Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou". Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Bowcott, Owen (29 April 2010). "Hunting ban should be repealed early in Conservative government, says Tory MP". The Guardian. London. 
  14. ^ Kawczynski, Daniel (4 June 2009). "Daniel Kawczynski MP: The case for keeping First Past The Post". Conservative Home. 
  15. ^ "Early day motion 1240: NHS Homeopathic Hospitals". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill – Change abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12 weeks – rejected". The Public Whip. 28 May 2008. 
  17. ^ "BBC News: MP Daniel Kawczynski interviewed on cabinet ministers' support for cut in abortion time limit". Christian Concern. 7 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill: Blasphemy". The Public Whip. 6 May 2008. 
  19. ^ Walker, Tim (19 May 2009). "Daniel Kawczynski enters the den of very mad dog". The Telegraph.
  20. ^ a b Staines, Paul (19 October 2011). "Tory MP Wants Unpaid Slaves For Book Content Harvesting". Guido Fawkes' Blog. 
  21. ^ "Job 31968: Research for Book". W4MP Jobs. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  22. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 March 2015: Saudi Arabia". www.publications.parliament.uk. 
  23. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 July 2015 : Contents". www.publications.parliament.uk. 
  24. ^ "Daniel leads All Party Parliamentary Delegation to Saudi Arabia". daniel4shrewsbury.co.uk. 
  25. ^ Kawczynski updated this on Newsnight 11/9/15 stating that Yasmin Qureshi was the current chair of the All-Party Group for Saudi Arabia
  26. ^ "Daniel meets Former Libyan Head of State". daniel4shrewsbury.co.uk. 
  27. ^ "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 March 2015: Poland". parliament.uk. 
  28. ^ "Who We Are". Conservative Friends of Poland. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  29. ^ "Tory MP tells one legged-beggar to get a job". The Daily Telegraph. 21 October 2013.
  30. ^ "Tory MP tells one legged-beggar to get a job". The Independent. 21 October 2013.
  31. ^ "Tory MP tells one legged-beggar to get a job". The Huffington Post. 21 October 2013.
  32. ^ "Conservative MP 'is tallest ever'". London: BBC. 21 June 2005. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  33. ^ a b c "The 'Honorable member for Saudi Arabia' up in arms over prison training reversal". 14 October 2015. 
  34. ^ Johnston, Ian (September 2015). "Daniel Kawczynski: Tory MP considers legal action after 'patronising' BBC Newsnight interview". Independent. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  35. ^ Michael Deacon (13 October 2015). "The Tory MP standing up for the real victim... Saudi Arabia". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  36. ^ "MP Daniel Kawczynski: MP’s Offer of Help with Export for Shropshire Businesses". Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Meeting with Daniel Kawczynski MP, British Polish Business Centre, Monday 1 September 2014". Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  38. ^ "World Bank in the Krynica Economic Forum – the "Davos for Eastern Europe"". Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  39. ^ "XXIV Krynica Economic Forum Programme" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  40. ^ "Daniel Kawczynski British-Polish Relations". Retrieved 3 July 2017. 
  41. ^ "Daniel Kawczynski MP: Honouring our Polish allies of World War Two, and reinforcing our modern ties (Conservative Home)". Retrieved 15 July 2017. 
  42. ^ "Pierwsza w historii debata w Westminster Hall o wkładzie Polaków w społeczeństwo i gospodarkę Wielkiej Brytanii". Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  43. ^ "Wybitni Polacy w Wielkiej Brytanii 2016 nagrodzeni". Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  44. ^ "Brytyjski parlament: Krytyka wobec Nord Stream 2 oraz o konieczności stałych baz NATO w Polsce". Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  45. ^ Eden, Richard (30 June 2013). "Divorced Conservative MP: 'I've fallen in love with a man'". The Telegraph.
  46. ^ Legge, James (30 June 2013). "Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski comes out as bisexual". The Independent. London. 
  47. ^ "Simon Hughes: "I’m bisexual"". PinkNews. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Marsden
Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham
2005–present
Incumbent