Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury MP denies conflict over £250k consultancy work and government role

Daniel Kawczynski - who is being investigated by the Standards Commissioner over a separate matter - earns £36,000 a year for his second job.

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski is paid £3,000 a month by a mining consultancy firm

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has denied any conflict of interest between the second job which has earned him more than £250,000 and his position as a Government trade envoy.

The Conservative MP - who is currently being investigated by the Standards Commissioner over an unrelated matter - is paid £36,000 a year as a consultant for New York-based mining investment firm the Electrum Group, on top of his £82,000 salary as an MP.

Meanwhile he is the Government's trade envoy for Mongolia.

Mr Kawczynski said that, as part of his role as envoy, he has held meetings with Mongolian ministers, representing two British mining entities after a request by civil servants.

However Mr Kawczynski said his activities as trade envoy have nothing to do with the the Electrum Group, which is registered as 30 hours a month but he says is actually 15 hours work, and that the firm has no interest in Mongolia.

The 49-year-old MP told the Shropshire Star he had been working for Electrum before taking up his position as trade envoy, and had fully declared it to the relevant civil servants on assuming the role.

He said he had been assured that everything was above board, and that he would not be in any position to influence policy regarding the company he works for.

"When I became the trade envoy to Mongolia I immediately informed my civil servants I have this outside interest, so no decisions I have to make could be in any way connected to the company I work for," Mr Kawczynski said.

"The civil servants assured me this would be no problem, and this was corroborated by the Secretary of State.

"The company I work for has no interests in Mongolia, has no interest in taking on any activities in Mongolia, and has never asked me to make any representations regarding that location."

Owen Paterson, who has resigned as the MP for North Shropshire with Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski

Meanwhile Mr Kawczynski is awaiting the outcome of an investigation into allegations he caused "significant damage" to the reputation of the House of Commons over a separate matter not related to his consultancy work.

The probe is being carried out by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, who recently investigated Owen Paterson for his actions while the MP for North Shropshire.

Mr Paterson was found to have repeatedly broken paid lobbying rules while working as a consultant for two firms, who between them paid him more than £100,000 a year, and ended up resigning after losing the backing of the Prime Minister.

The details of the allegations against Mr Kawczynski have not been specified but are reported to be related to his apology in the House of Commons after an earlier standards investigation found he had bullied parliamentary staff.

He is accused of "actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its members generally".

Mr Kawczynski told the Star he was still awaiting the report from the commissioner.

"I can't really comment while the investigation is ongoing, it's due to report shortly, and I am looking forward to reading it," he said.

In June he was ordered to apologise in the Commons after an investigation by the Independent Expert Panel, the body which determines appeals and sanctions in bullying cases.

The panel found that he had acted in a "threatening and intimidating manner" towards parliamentary staff while struggling with IT issues after consuming a "significant amount of alcohol" during the first coronavirus lockdown in April 2020.

However before making the Commons statement, Mr Kawczynski told BBC Radio Shropshire he was only doing it because he had "no alternative" and would face further sanctions if he refused.

The Daily Mail has reported that the ongoing investigation by the Standards Commissioner is in relation to this "insincere" apology.

Mr Kawczynski has been the MP for Shrewsbury since 2005 and has been employed as a consultant for Electrum since 2018.

The firm initially paid him £72,000 a year, before this was reduced to £36,000 in July this year. His earnings from the firm so far total more than £250,000.

He was appointed the trade envoy to Mongolia by Boris Johnson last October.

Over in North Shropshire, the date for the by-election to replace Mr Paterson has been set for December 16.

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