Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury MP 'broke no rules' amid claims he pleaded for lucrative Saudi job

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said he had "broken no rules" after claims emerged that he asked a fixer to secure him a well-paid second job related to the Middle East.

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski

Speaking to the Shropshire Star, the Conservative MP did not deny allegations that he asked for work with a Saudi employer.

But Mr Kawczynski said: "I have one registered outside consultancy, registered with Commons authorities. I have broken no rules and adhere strictly to guidelines in place."

Mr Kawczynski also urged the Shropshire Star to compare his voting and debating record with other MPs in the House of Commons.

Mr Kawczynski said: "Isn't it interesting how I speak more on behalf of Shrewsbury than almost any other MP does for their own constituency?"

A story in the Guardian reports a series of WhatsApp messages in which Mr Kawczynski is said to have asked a fixer to find him work with a Saudi employer, describing himself as the most “pro-Saudi” member of parliament. In one message, he reportedly asked for paid work, saying: "I need it to pay school fees!"

In another of the messages reported by the newspaper, the Shrewsbury MP of 16 years said: “I am looking for a position with a company as non exec director or adviser/consultant. Obviously my passion for Anglo Arab relations [is] something which could help a company with relations in the UK or Middle East. Not sure what remuneration I am looking for but you are such a good negotiator!!! Best wishes Daniel.”

Elsewhere in the messages, which were sent between September 2017 and June 2018, Mr Kawczynski said he was disillusioned with politics in Westminster and would like one day to be UK ambassador to Riyadh rather than a backbench MP.

No new employment appears to have materialised from the conversations.

From February 2018, Mr Kawczynski declared a consultancy earning £6,000 a month for a mining investment firm Electrum Group. In July 2021, he reduced his hours and fees for the group to £3,000 a month.

It comes after earlier this year Mr Kawczynski was forced to apologise for bullying parliamentary committee staff as he struggled with IT issues after consuming "a significant amount of alcohol".

A spokesman for the MP said: "It is clear that at this time, the press wish to keep a momentum going, the sale of stories no matter the consequences to people's lives. At this time, Daniel Kawczynski is focused on Covid spread prevention measures, and his work for the constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham. No rules were broken with regards to consultancy work, nor were any Parliamentary resources used for personal gain."

Shrewsbury Conservatives have been contacted for a comment.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.