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Monday, January 24, 2022

Britain’s ‘most pro-Saudi’ Tory MP pleaded for anti-Qatar Middle East jobs


A British member of parliament reportedly asked a fixer to participate in an anti-Qatar conference.

Conservative Member of Parliament Daniel Kawczynski reportedly pleaded with a fixer to help him attain a well-paid second job with a Saudi entity or other work relating to the Middle East.

In a series of WhatsApp messages accessed by the Guardian, Kawczynski emphasised on his staunchly pro-Saudi stance as part of an attempt tp attain a job with a Saudi businessman.

The Tory official described himself to the fixer as the most “pro-Saudi” MP and boasted that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “stated that Saudi has no better friend in UK than me”.

In one WhatsApp message, Kawczynski said that he was “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!!!”

Kawczynski even pleaded with the fixer, who once freelanced for exiled Qatari businessman Khalid al-Hail, to participate in anti-Qatar conferences in 2017.

Kawczynski was paid £15,000 for speaking at and helping the fixer to organise one of Al-Hail’s conferences on Qatar in September 2017.

A year later, when Kawczynski heard that Al-Hail was organising another follow-up conference about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the MP offered his services in return for “good remuneration”.

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In a message, the Tory MP told the fixer “promise you will push for good remuneration too for me … I need it to pay school fees!” referring to the Qatari opposition conference.

Al-Hail revealed to the Guardian that he had no knowledge of messages between his fixer and Kawczynski.

Kawczynski also attempted to cozy up to a potential Saudi employer, hosting him in the MP’s private dining room. No employment opportunities have risen from these attempts.

The Tory MP’s attempts at attaining another job have raised question on whether Kawczynski has breached the rules that prohibit MPs from attaining second jobs and using the House of Commons for side work.

A spokesperson for Kawczynski said he had “broken no rules with regards to second jobs, and most importantly he prioritises his work as MP for the constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham.”

In other WhatsApp messages, Kawczynski expressed his desire to one day become the British ambassador to Riyadh rather than be a backbench MP.

This comes as the conservatives in Britain battle to retain their seat in North Shropshire’s by-election, which was prompted Owen Paterson’s resignation.

Kawczynski’s constituency is adjacent to North Shropshire’s constituency held by Paterson before it was revealed that he lobbied for private companies.

In the WhatsApp conversations, Kawczynski repeatedly asked the fixer to secure him regular paid work with their Middle East contacts.

“Please do your best … I need an important strategic position which will allow me to spend time in Gulf ideally helping and advising an important company,” said Kawczynski.

“Ideally I am looking for a consultancy in monthly basis as I need the stability of regular income,” he said in a separate text message exchange.

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