The Conservative Party has reprimanded an MP who attended a conference with far-right politicians in Italy this week, condemning his actions as “not acceptable”.
Daniel Kawczynski was given a formal warning by the party and has apologised for speaking at the event, a Tory spokesperson said. But he will not have the whip suspended — despite widespread calls for stronger disciplinary action.
Kawczynski had been criticised by Jewish and Muslim groups after BuzzFeed News revealed his plans to speak alongside far-right leaders such as Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s Lega party, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, and Marion Maréchal of France’s National Rally (formerly known as the National Front).
The Shrewsbury MP had initially defended his decision to speak at the National Conservatism conference, writing an article in the Spectator branding his critics “hysterical”.
But after days of criticism from religious groups, a Conservative Party spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: “Daniel Kawczynski has been formally warned that his attendance at this event was not acceptable, particularly in light of the views of some of those in attendance, which we utterly condemn, and that he is expected to hold himself to higher standards. Daniel has accepted this and apologised.”
Earlier on Thursday, Kawczynski was criticised by the Tory peer and UK government envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles:
Kawczynski was also condemned by Tory MP Andrew Percy — the chair of the all party parliamentary group on anti-Semitism — who complained to the party about his attendance at the conference.