A Tory MP begged a fixer to help him bag a lucrative second job with a Saudi company, claiming at one point that he needed cash to pay school fees.
Daniel Kawczynski made repeated pleas for well-paid work, citing his pro-Saudi stance in parliament as part of an effort to secure him paid work from a Middle Eastern businessman, according to WhatsApp messages seen by the Guardian.
The Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham asked a fixer to find him work with a Saudi employer, describing himself as the most “pro-Saudi” member of parliament – and claiming that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi leader, “has stated that Saudi has no better friend in UK than me”.
In one message, Kawczynski said: “I am 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!!! Best wishes Daniel.”
In another, he asked the fixer for paid work on a conference related to Qatar: “Promise you will push for good remuneration too for me … I need it to pay school fees!”
Breaking the rules?
Kawczynski also arranged to host one potential Saudi employer in parliament, offering a tour of the House of Commons and dinner in the MPs’ private dining room. He arranged to meet the fixer in his parliamentary office to discuss a project.
No new employment is believed to have materialised fro the conversations, but both incidents raise questions over whether the Tory MP breached rules that bar members from using the Commons for private work.
A spokesperson said Kawczynski 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 messages, sent between September 2017 and June 2018, he claimed to be disillusioned with Westminster politics – saying he would like to be UK ambassador to Riyadh rather than a backbench MP.
‘Genuinely pro Saudi’
He repeatedly asked the fixer to secure him paid work with contacts in the Middle East, saying: “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.”
In another conversation he said: “Ideally I am looking for a consultancy in monthly basis as I need the stability of regular income.”
Later, with the possibility of a paid consultancy apparently failing, Kawczynski pleaded with the fixer to talk up his pro-Saudi credentials.
“Do they understand how genuinely pro Saudi I am??? No one in Commons has promoted Saudi more during last 12 years as genuinely pro Saudi.”