British MP received $20,700 for anti-Qatar conference
February 11 2018 11:09 PM
Daniel Kawczynski
Daniel Kawczynski

Al Jazeera/Doha

*Daniel Kawczynski was paid more than $20,000 to help organise a conference criticising Qatar in London

A British parliamentarian was paid £15,000 ($20,700) to help organise an anti-Qatar conference in London, according to a Buzzfeed report.

Daniel Kawczynski, a conservative politician, pocketed the sum, despite telling reporters he was only attending the conference to learn about the Qatari opposition, Buzzfeed said in a report on Sunday.

The Qatar, Global Security and Stability Conference was held in September, amid a diplomatic boycott of Qatar by a Saudi-led group of countries. The boycotting countries, which include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, severed ties with Qatar after accusing it of supporting "terrorism" and having links to Iran. Doha strongly denies the allegations.

Qatar's alleged sponsorship of "terrorist groups" was one of the main subjects at the London conference. It was hosted by Khalid al-Hail, a 29-year-old Qatari national, the founder of the Qatar National Democratic Party, according to the Middle East Eye. At the time, analysts accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of funding it. Kawczynski, dubbed the "honourable member for Saudi Arabia" for his support of the monarchy, declared receiving two payments of £7,500 ($10,370) from a company linked to al-Hail's wife, Tatiana Gisca, according to Buzzfeed.

The declarations, however, did not mention which conference the fees relate to or its subject matter.

Kawczynski told Buzzfeed he did not believe Saudi Arabia or UAE financed the conference.

"I am very concerned about what you are doing," he said, responding to questions from Buzzfeed. "As long as I live, I will never get to grips with you journalists. I spoke at a conference, a very interesting, exciting conference, I registered (the payment) within the time scheduled," he said.

He added: "Your conduct is wrong, you're trying to make something an issue where there isn't an issue."

Al-Hail also denied receiving funding from Qatar's regional rivals.

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