The Conservative is set to be suspended from the House of Commons for one day after giving an 'insincere' apology for bullying staff when he struggled to access a virtual meeting.
Read the full report about the suspension here and read Mr Kawczynski's full statement in response to the findings of the Committee on Standards below.
Full statement from Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski
Today the Committee on Standards in the House of Commons published their decision about me speaking out on Radio Shropshire last summer and my comments about the disciplinary procedures. While the interview was at a time when I was in an emotional and distressed state, I accept fully that I was wrong to comment about the disciplinary procedures and I accept unreservedly the findings of the committee. My comments to Radio Shropshire came at the end of a very difficult and painful period in my life which I now recognise was significantly affecting my mental health. I have apologised to my colleagues and I will never again seek to undermine or challenge in any way the rules and regulations of the House of Commons.
A profoundly emotional and devastating family trauma in 2019, coupled with a series of work-related problems combined to affect my mental health in an unprecedented way. Issues such as the extraordinary polarisation and vilification during Brexit, constituency flooding in an overwhelmingly damaging and exceptional way plus the start of a national pandemic meant that I got to the stage that I was not wanting to go outside when I returned to Shrewsbury because of the abuse I was receiving in the street whenever I ventured out, even to just do some shopping.
I am very grateful for the intensive support from both the Commons Health and Wellbeing Team and my therapist here in Shropshire, have now however got me back on track and I and others can now start to see the evidence of my mental health recovery, including my enjoyment of engaging with people again for the first time in a number of years. The extraordinary care and support from professionals working within the House of Commons plus my local Shropshire therapist have transformed my life for the better. In recognition of the support that I received and benefited so much from, I have accepted a position as a patron for a mental health support group and I will be acting as a regular volunteer. I hope to work with them to raise awareness of mental health services in Parliament and in the media.
It is my intention to prove to constituents, that as with other illnesses, it’s possible to recover and come out stronger and better able to do your job. My Shropshire therapist said something which resonated with me: “With another type of visible illness that others go through, people will understand and give that person support to get through. Not always that easy with mental health as one is always somewhat reticent of speaking out about the problems experienced.”
As a public figure who has experienced mental health issues, I feel a duty to be open about it and to help break down the stigma which can still be associated due to a lack of understanding of what can be involved. One in four Britons will at some stage in their lives experience mental health problems and I hope that I can encourage others struggling to cope to feel confident in seeking help from the services that can support them.
I wish to reiterate that nothing I have said about my own mental health struggles should detract in any way from my full acceptance of the Committee’s decision. It is an enormous privilege to represent Shrewsbury and I am very grateful for the support that I have received from my friends and colleagues during my period of poor health.