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British MP criticized for attending extreme right conference

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — A British Conservative MP has received an official warning from his party after criticism by Jewish and Muslim groups for attending a far-right conference in Italy, local media reports.

Daniel Kawczynski was one of the 22 speakers at the National Conservatism Conference in Rome on 3-4 February.

Also present at the conference were Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Marion Marechal of France, niece of Marine Le Pen. Italy’s far-right leader Matteo Salvini had also been slated to run but withdrew after disappointing results for his Northern League party in last month’s regional elections.

Defending his action, Kawczynski wrote for the right-wing magazine Spectator that those who participated “represent serious ideas and concerns, some of which even people in Britain have.”

The Conservative Party issued a statement saying: “Daniel Kawczynski has been formally warned that his participation in the event was unacceptable, especially given the views of some of those present, whom we fully condemn, and expect that it adheres to the highest standards. ”

“Daniel acknowledged this and apologized,” the conservatives added.

The statement came after a wave of criticism of Kawczynski actions.

Marie van der Zyl, chairman of the Board of British Jewish Deputies, condemned Kawczynski for addressing him at a conference along with “some of the most notorious politicians of the European extreme right”.

“Mr Kawczynski defense that it is logical to talk to parties and politicians who are leading their respective countries, or will probably take power in the coming years, is a strange matter, for the simple reason that the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham is not any kind of government representative, ”she said.

She added that if the Conservative Party does not take disciplinary action, there is a “serious risk of public opinion assuming they share his views”.

The main opposition Labor Party said it should not just be an official warning, but that the ruling Conservative Party should suspend Kawczynski.

“In rejecting Daniel Kawczynski suspension, conservatives are accepting his decision to stand with the fascists, legitimizing the Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and homophobia they promote,” said Andrew Gwynne, Labor Party Secretary of Communities.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Serious questions have to be asked as to why this was allowed in the first place, why the party now thinks it is unacceptable and why it now thinks a simple sentence is sufficient.”

“Kawczynski should immediately dismiss him and undergo a full investigation if conservatives want to claim, at least in this case, a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for all forms of racism,” the council said.

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