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 MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byGlyn Davies
Succeeded byDavid Morris
Member of Parliament
for Shrewsbury and Atcham
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byPaul Marsden
Majority6,627 (11.4%)
Personal details
Born (1972-01-24) 24 January 1972 (age 46)
Warsaw, Poland
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
Kate Lumb
(m. 2000; div. 2011)
Children1
ResidenceShrewsbury, Shropshire
Alma materUniversity of Stirling
ProfessionAccounting Manager
WebsiteOfficial Website

Daniel Robert Kawczynski (Polish pronunciation: [ka'ft͡ʂɨnskʲi]; 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.

In the past he has served as Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a parliamentary aide to the former Welsh Secretary David Jones,[3] as well as serving as a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and 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]

Early life[edit]

Kawczynski was born on the 24 January 1972 in Warsaw. As a seven-year-old, he came to England with his parents from Poland.[5] He was privately educated at St George's College, Weybridge,[citation needed] an independent Roman Catholic school in Surrey, followed by Birmingham Polytechnic and then the University of Stirling 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]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Kawczynski unsuccessfully stood as the Conservative Party candidate for Parliament in the 2001 general election for Ealing Southall in London but came second with 18% of the vote.[7]

At the following general election Kawczynski was selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency and was elected 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 and the 2017 general election.[10]

Upon entering Parliament he established the All Party Parliamentary Group for milk farmers to help milk farmers in his constituency. [11] 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.[12] 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.[12] The media noted his high attendance of debates during the 2010–2015 Parliament, which amounted to 29,[13] noting that he had voted on 80.06% of issues, which is considered as above average amongst MPs.[14]

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".[15] In May 2008, he voted to lower the abortion time limit to 12 weeks,[16] 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.[17] He also voted against a House of Lords amendment to abolish the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel under common law.[18] 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".[19]

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, Kawczynski became advisor to the Prime Minister David Cameron on Eastern and Central European Diaspora [20]

Kawczynski was chairman of the All-Party Group for Saudi Arabia between 2011 and 2016, during his time as chairman he led a number of delegations to the country,[21][22][23][24] he was chairman of the All-Party Group for Libya but that group now ceases to exist,[25] chairman of the All-Party Group for Poland[26] and a vice-chairman of Conservative Friends of Poland.[27]

Kawczynski is a keen supporter of fox hunting[28] and advocates keeping the First Past the Post voting system.[29]

Kawczynski has expressed support for a prospective Jacob Rees-Mogg leadership bid.[30] In the 2016 leadership election, Kawczynski confirmed his support for Michael Gove via Twitter. However, his tweet was subsequently deleted as he had mistakenly tweeted support for a ‘Michael Grove’ instead.[31]

Kawczynski has previously served on the Justice Select Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the International Development Committee and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.[32]

Controversies[edit]

In the wake of the Westminster Parliamentary Expenses scandal in 2009, Kawczynski was ordered to repay £4000 for rent costs that he had over-claimed. He defended his position as the 13th highest expenses claimant in the entire country on the grounds that the figures were 'skewed', detailing that figures had been boosted by one off costs, such as the redesign of his website and additional research costs.[33]

In 2010 Kawczynski published a book called Seeking Gaddafi about Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Paul Staines, publisher of the 'Guido Fawkes' political blog, 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.[34] When Kawczynski later advertised another unpaid internship[35] for his new book entitled Saudi Arabia, Staines claimed that this was "nothing but a con."[34]

In October 2013, Kawczynski received widespread press attention for berating a one-legged wheelchair user for begging outside the Houses of Parliament.[36][37][38]

It emerged in early November 2017 that Kawczynski had been reprimanded in front of witnesses by Eleanor Laing, the Conservative MP and deputy speaker, for asking a young researcher employed by Laing to go on a date with a rich businessman contact of his who was "older than her father".[39] The incident in January 2013, according to Channel 4 News in November 2017, was preceded by an intermediary making the same approach several times. Laura Hughes, writing for The Daily Telegraph, reported that Kawczynski has been referred to the Conservative's new disciplinary committee. He has admitted to the incident, but rejects the accusation of inappropriate conduct.[40]

Views on Saudi Arabia[edit]

Kawczynski is a vociferous supporter of the Saudi Arabian government[41] 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".[41] After coming out as bisexual, Kawczynski’s visits to Saudi Arabia did not lessen[42] despite LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia being amongst the worst in the world. In Saudi Arabia both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal, with punishments ranging from fines, floggings and life in prison, to torture and the death penalty.[43]

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, Kawczynski 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.[44] 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.[41][45]

Work on improving Anglo-Polish relations[edit]

Since becoming the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland in 2014, 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, offering support and advice.[46] 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. Kawczynski has also cooperated with the Federation of Small Businesses and the UK Trade & Investment in Serbia and in Poland.[47]

During a 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.[47] In September 2014, Kawczynski visited Krynica International Economic Forum, where he participated in various economic debates and conferences, notably the "Poland – Science and Innovation – Strategies for Growth"[48] where he focused on explaining the importance of improving the cooperation between British, Polish and German universities. In 2016 he visited the Krynica Economic Forum and was invited to a panel on the future of the European Union. He appealed for an increased importance of NATO and a closer cooperation between the Visegrad Group and the United Kingdom.[49]

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"[50] describes 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 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.[51] 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.[52] In 2016 Daniel Kawczynski was distinguished as an "Outstanding Pole Abroad of 2016"[53] for his efforts in promoting trade and political relations between the United Kingdom and his country of birth. On 18 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.[54]

In 2017 Kawczynski joined calls for Germany to pay war reparations for crimes committed against the Allies and for the destruction of Poland during the Second World War. On 15th October 2017 the MP sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to stop demanding money from the UK during the Brexit negotiations and start paying what they owe Poland.[55] Chancellor Merkel has not yet replied to his letter.

Personal life[edit]

In 2000, Kawczynski married Kate Lumb, with whom he had a daughter, but they divorced in 2011.[56] In June 2013, he announced to his Conservative Association that his new partner is male.[57] He is the second MP in Britain to come out as bisexual, the first being Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes.[58][59] He currently lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

At 6 feet 8 12 inches (204.5 cm), Kawczynski claimed after his first election in 2005 to be the tallest MP in history and "officially a giant".[60]

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. ^ https://www.farminguk.com/news/APPG-for-Dairy-Farmers-to-meet-with-farmer-co-ops_2920.html
  11. ^ a b "Erdington and Shrewsbury MPs under-fire for non-attendance". Birmingham Post. 9 April 2009.
  12. ^ "Constituency profile: North Shropshire - Paterson on course for Commons return". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Early day motion 1240: NHS Homeopathic Hospitals". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill – Change abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12 weeks – rejected". The Public Whip. 28 May 2008.
  16. ^ "BBC News: MP Daniel Kawczynski interviewed on cabinet ministers' support for cut in abortion time limit". Christian Concern. 7 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill: Blasphemy". The Public Whip. 6 May 2008.
  18. ^ Walker, Tim (19 May 2009). "Daniel Kawczynski enters the den of very mad dog". The Telegraph.
  19. ^ https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/08/26/shrewsburys-mp-daniel-kawczynski-relishing-his-new-advisory-role-for-david-cameron/
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 July 2015 : Contents". www.publications.parliament.uk.
  22. ^ "Daniel leads All Party Parliamentary Delegation to Saudi Arabia". daniel4shrewsbury.co.uk.
  23. ^ Kawczynski updated this on Newsnight 11/9/15 stating that Yasmin Qureshi was the current chair of the All-Party Group for Saudi Arabia
  24. ^ "Daniel meets Former Libyan Head of State". daniel4shrewsbury.co.uk.
  25. ^ "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 March 2015: Poland". parliament.uk.
  26. ^ "Who We Are" Archived 3 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Conservative Friends of Poland. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  27. ^ Bowcott, Owen (29 April 2010). "Hunting ban should be repealed early in Conservative government, says Tory MP". The Guardian. London.
  28. ^ Kawczynski, Daniel (4 June 2009). "Daniel Kawczynski MP: The case for keeping First Past The Post". Conservative Home.
  29. ^ "Theresa May not an 'authentic Brexiteer' and could 'destabilise' Conservatives 'like never before' - MP". Sky News. 23 May 2018.
  30. ^ Walker, Jonathan (2016-06-30). "Oops! MP Daniel Kawczynski backs 'Michael Grove' for Tory leader". birminghammail. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  31. ^ . GOV.UK https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/daniel-kawczynski/1566. Retrieved 5 August 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ "Expenses claim figures are 'skewed' says MP Daniel Kawczynski". Shropshire Star. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  33. ^ a b Staines, Paul (19 October 2011). "Tory MP Wants Unpaid Slaves For Book Content Harvesting". Guido Fawkes.
  34. ^ "Job 31968: Research for Book". W4MP Jobs. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  35. ^ "Tory MP tells one legged-beggar to get a job". The Daily Telegraph. 21 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Tory MP tells one legged-beggar to get a job". The Independent. 21 October 2013.
  37. ^ "Tory MP tells one legged-beggar to get a job". The Huffington Post. 21 October 2013.
  38. ^ Wheeler, Caroline (5 November 2017). "Daniel Poulter, Tory former minister, accused of putting hand up MPs' skirts". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 November 2017. (subscription required)
  39. ^ Hughes, Laura (5 November 2017). "Third Tory MP referred to party's investigation committee". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  40. ^ a b c "The 'Honorable member for Saudi Arabia' up in arms over prison training reversal". 14 October 2015.
  41. ^ "Ministers' Registry of Interests". theyworkforyou.com.
  42. ^ "Gay relationships are still criminalised in 72 countries". The Guardian. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  43. ^ Johnston, Ian (September 2015). "Daniel Kawczynski: Tory MP considers legal action after 'patronising' BBC Newsnight interview". Independent. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  44. ^ Michael Deacon (13 October 2015). "The Tory MP standing up for the real victim... Saudi Arabia". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  45. ^ "MP Daniel Kawczynski: MP's Offer of Help with Export for Shropshire Businesses". Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  46. ^ a b "Meeting with Daniel Kawczynski MP, British Polish Business Centre, Monday 1 September 2014". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  47. ^ "XXIV Krynica Economic Forum Programme" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  48. ^ "The future of the European Union discussed at the 27th Krynica Economic Forum". Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  49. ^ "Daniel Kawczynski British-Polish Relations". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  50. ^ "Daniel Kawczynski MP: Honouring our Polish allies of World War Two, and reinforcing our modern ties (Conservative Home)". Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  51. ^ "Pierwsza w historii debata w Westminster Hall o wkładzie Polaków w społeczeństwo i gospodarkę Wielkiej Brytanii". Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  52. ^ "Wybitni Polacy w Wielkiej Brytanii 2016 nagrodzeni". Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  53. ^ "Brytyjski parlament: Krytyka wobec Nord Stream 2 oraz o konieczności stałych baz NATO w Polsce". Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  54. ^ "Shrewsbury's MP calls for Germany to pay $1trillion war reparations to Poland". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  55. ^ "Kawczynski, Daniel, (born 24 Jan. 1972), MP (C) Shrewsbury and Atcham, since 2005". Who's Who. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.45508.
  56. ^ Eden, Richard (30 June 2013). "Divorced Conservative MP: 'I've fallen in love with a man'". The Telegraph.
  57. ^ Legge, James (30 June 2013). "Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski comes out as bisexual". The Independent. London.
  58. ^ "Simon Hughes: "I'm bisexual"". PinkNews.
  59. ^ "Conservative MP 'is tallest ever'". London: BBC. 21 June 2005. Retrieved 28 June 2016.

External links[edit]

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