MPs have voted to give Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski a one-day suspension after he “undermined” an apology he made in the House of Commons for staff bullying.
The Standards Watchdog noted that the Shrewsbury MP had hinted in media interviews that he didn’t quite mean the gesture and recommended his suspension be limited to one day, as Kawczynski had pledged to continue working on his conduct.
First Kawczynski apologized in the House of Commons in June last year, after an investigation found he had verbally abused a senior Commons official, called another a “snowflake” and “useless” and vilified a third employee over WhatsApp. He told the Commons: “I have thought about my behaviour, I accept that it constitutes bullying and as such was highly inexcusable.”
In an interview with his local BBC radio station earlier that day, he said the proceedings were unfair and that he had no choice but to apologize, prompting a new investigation.
In a personal statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Kawczynski said he acknowledged that speaking to the media “undermined the sincerity” of his apology, saying: “I am sorry that my conduct has caused further damaging effects on the complainant.” will have had and that this may be the case have reduced public confidence in the process.”
He added: “I accept that my manner of speaking to the media had an adverse effect on the House’s conduct policy by undermining the integrity of the grievance process and I deeply regret my actions. I strive to learn from my mistakes and work on my personal development, especially in my communication with others, in every interaction I have.
“I am aware that my behavior deserved a longer period of suspension from the House.”
the Report of the House of Commons Standards Committee, published last week, noted that Kawczynski “still struggles with the ability to have genuine empathy with others and as a result still has a tendency to see himself and not others as the ‘victim’ he may be suffering.” is not fully aware”.
The MP said he appreciated “the committee’s consideration of the difficulties I was experiencing in my personal life at the time and the mental health issues” after previously saying he was in an “emotional and distressed state” on the day of the interview.
“A deeply emotional and devastating family trauma in 2019, coupled with a series of work-related issues, impacted my mental health in unprecedented ways,” he said in a statement after the report’s release, adding that he “received” abuse on the street” whenever he went out. “I want to reiterate that nothing I have said about my own mental health struggle should in any way detract from my full acceptance of the committee’s decision.”