In December, one final epilogue came to the second jobs scandal, which truly blew all of the other accusations out of the water. This came in the form of the news that Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, had begged a fixer for extra-parliamentary work for Saudi Arabian businessmen.
Kawczynski has long been a supporter of the Saudis, defending their actions in the war in Yemen, and describing himself to the fixer as the most “pro-Saudi” MP.
Reporting by the Guardian revealed that Kawczynski had invited the fixer to parliament. At another time, he had dinner with Saudi businessman Yasser bin Homran in a private dining room in the Commons.
What’s worse, is that Kawczynski admitted that the motivation was purely financial. Although he has been enjoying an MP’s salary since 2005, he admitted to the fixer that he needed “to pay the school fees”.
As Kawczynski’s office has been keen to point out, his actions have not violated any parliamentary rules. Yet, by using his stances on foreign policy as leverage for employment, particularly with businessmen representing such a brutal monarchy as Saudi Arabia, it is arguable that he has debased his office and disrespected the constituents who elected him.
It’s worth noting that Shrewsbury and Atcham is far from the electoral stronghold that North Shropshire was. It elected a Labour MP in 1997 and 2001, and Kawczynski’s majority is a not insurmountable 12,000 votes. Perhaps there may be consequences for his actions after all…
Check out the rest of the advent calendar’s entries here, and stay tuned for more releases!