Anti-Senedd Tory MP faces Parliament ban over ‘insincere’ apology for ‘bullying’
An anti-Senedd Tory MP is facing a ban from Parliament for an “insincere” apology after he was found guilty of bullying by a sleaze watchdog.
Daniel Kawczynski, who has called for the Senedd to be scrapped, was ordered to say sorry by Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone after he was found to have ranted at parliamentary staffers.
He later apologised in the House of Commons for the way he treated its staff members when he could not join a virtual meeting, which included making baseless complaints about them when drunk.
However, on the same day he made the apology he admitted that he did not mean it and that he was only going through the motions to avoid a Commons suspension.
As a result of this Kawczynski is under investigation again by the Standards Commissioner for the second time in five months.
He has been accused of “actions causing significant damage to the reputation of the House”. This time around he faces a more severe punishment if he is found to have breached the MPs’ Code of Conduct. A ruling on by the Commissioner on Kawczynski is expected shortly.
The Shrewsbury MP made repeated complaints to the support staff who were trying to help him after he was unable to join in a committee meeting by video link in April 2020.
This included phoning a member of the committee staff telling him “you are useless” and branding him part of the “snowflake generation”.
In an “inappropriate” attempt to make a ‘meritless complaint’ about them, he later he rang one of the committee workers’ managers “whilst under the influence of alcohol”, and he was found to have acted in a “threatening and intimidating manner”.
‘Abuse of power’
The Standards Commissioner concluded that his behaviour amounted to bullying and was made worse by his “abuse of power” and a “lack of contrition”.
The Independent Expert Panel, which decides on sanctions in bullying cases ordered him to make an apology because of his conduct.
In his appeal against the judgement, which was rejected, he claimed that he faced “serious difficulties” in his constituency. He put these down to a a flooding crisis, as well as his 6ft 9in height, which makes him the tallest MP.
He argued that his height makes him “very conspicuous” and he claimed that he had come under “repeated attack by members of the public”.
In his public apology on the floor of the House of Commons, he said: “I did not swear nor raise my voice but my behaviour led to two complaints.
“I have reflected on my behaviour, I accept it constituted bullying and as such was entirely inexcusable.”
However, on the very same day he told BBC Radio Shropshire: “I must apologise because if I don’t apologise then I risk the option of being sanctioned further – namely being suspended from the House of Commons or expelled from the House of Commons.”
He also told a national newspaper that making the apology was “something I am going to have to do”.
He said that he would “use the script he had been provided”. But he has denied that this meant he was doing it “with his fingers crossed behind his back”.