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Conservative MP told to apologise for ‘threatening and intimidating’ behaviour

Conservative MP told to apologise for ‘threatening and intimidating’ behaviour
14.06.2021
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A Conservative MP who has been told to apologise in the Commons for acting in “threatening and intimidating” manner towards parliamentary committee staff said he was under “great pressure” at the time – in part because he is so tall.

The Independent Expert Panel, which determines appeals and sanctions in bullying cases, said the incident in question happened in April 2020 when Daniel Kawczynski was unable to join a committee hearing due to technical issues.

At the time, Parliament was adapting to new remote working arrangements during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

The panel’s disciplinary report said the Shrewsbury and Atcham MP had consumed a “significant amount of alcohol” on the day and phoned the manager of the committee staff while under the influence, behaviour that was “grossly unprofessional”.

According to the panel, Mr Kawczynski accepted that on several occasions he let the two complainants, referred to as C1 and C2, and others know of his dissatisfaction.

He said that his frustration, combined with more “long-standing personal issues”, may have had a “detrimental impact on the way in which he behaved”.

According to the panel, Mr Kawczynski told them that he was dealing with a number of “real pressures” in his role as an MP, as well as being under pressure “in part for personal reasons”.

The IEP said Mr Kawczynski had apologised to the complainants, but added “some concerns remain as to the sincerity of the apologies given to date”.

It added that he should make a public apology in front of MPs.

Chairman Sir Stephen Irwin said: “We accept that the circumstances which arose on April 27 2020 were difficult.

“But they were difficult for everyone. Whilst we fully grasp that the life of an MP can be highly pressurised, these responsibilities and stresses do not justify a loss of courtesy, an exaggerated sense of importance or entitlement, or bullying.

“Our conclusion is that the determination of a requirement to make a public apology on the floor of the House is proper and proportionate.”

Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, ruled that Mr Kawczynski had acted in an “intimidatory and threatening manner” towards C1 and C2 and “abused his power” by making malicious claims about their poor performance.

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