Tory Brexiteer MP who attended conference alongside far-right politicians avoids suspension

PUBLISHED: 16:43 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:44 06 February 2020

Brexiteer MP Daniel Kawczynski. Photograph: Sky News.

Brexiteer MP Daniel Kawczynski. Photograph: Sky News.

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A Tory Brexiteer MP who was widely criticised for speaking alongside far-right politicians at an Italian conference has been reprimanded by the party - but not suspended.

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Daniel Kawczynski defied critics to speak at an event in Rome as part of a line-up that included Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban and Italy's Matteo Salvini.

The Shrewsbury and Atcham MP was condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the government's envoy for post-Holocaust issues, the Tory Lord Pickles.

But a Conservative Party spokeswoman said despite the appearance being "unacceptable" the MP would not be suspended.

"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," she said.

MORE: Brexiteer MP claimed he attended conference alongside far-right to give an 'analysis of Brexit'

"Daniel has accepted this and apologised."

The MP had been condemned in the days leading up to the National Conservatism conference but attempted to justify his intentions and attacked his critics in a letter to his local paper published ahead of the conference.

After the formal warning, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism called for Kawczynski to make a public apology, something his office did not have immediate plans to do.

An MCB spokesman added: "Serious questions must be asked about why this was allowed in the first place, why the party now feels it was unacceptable, and why it feels a mere slap on the wrist is sufficient.

"Kawczynski should have the whip removed, and be subject to a thorough investigation if the Conservatives want to claim, at least in this case, a 'zero tolerance' policy on all forms of racism."

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