Daniel Kawczynski, the pro-Brexit Conservative backbencher for Shrewsbury and Atcham, claimed in a tweet that there was “no Marshall Plan for us only for Germany”, referring to American payments of more than £12 billion approved in 1948 to help rebuild Europe.
The tweet has since received more than 11,000 replies and more than 3,000 retweets with many people questioning the MP's apparent claim about the lack of Marshall Plan aid for the UK.
The full post said: “Britain helped to liberate half of Europe. She mortgaged herself up to eye balls in process. No Marshall Plan for us only for Germany. We gave up war reparations in 1990. We put £370 billion into EU since we joined. Watch the way ungrateful EU treats us now. We will remember.”
Britain helped to liberate half of Europe. She mortgaged herself up to eye balls in process. No Marshall Plan for us only for Germany. We gave up war reparations in 1990. We put £370 billion into EU since we joined. Watch the way ungrateful EU treats us now. We will remember.— Daniel Kawczynski (@DKShrewsbury) February 2, 2019
Dr Warren Dockter, an American expert in British history and lecturer in international politics at Aberystwyth University, said: “Dan is categorically wrong about the Marshall Plan."
Quoting from The Marshall Plan: Fifty Years After, a seminal academic book on the subject, Dr Dockter said Britain received 26 per cent of Marshall Plan donations, more than any other country. France received 18 per cent and West Germany received 11 per cent, he said.
“In addition to Marshall Plan money, the UK received favourable loans and grants on top of the Marshall Plan aid,” Dr Dockter added.
Authors Philip Pullman and Emma Kennedy were among the thousands of Twitter users who took aim at Mr Kawczynski's history knowledge, a small selection of whom the MP replied to encouraging them to "get out more".
Unbelievable. Like much else these days. Truth, history, facts mean nothing to people like this.— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) February 2, 2019
If you are going to lecture me on accuracy I suggest you take a moment to spell my name correctly— Daniel Kawczynski (@DKShrewsbury) February 3, 2019
But Mr Kawczynski, 47, stood by his comments, explaining to the Shropshire Star: "There are many people in this country who want to whitewash the sacrifice that Britain has made over generations for Europe.
"They say it is not appropriate to look at a country's history to understand her credentials.
"Those affiliated to Europe in this country hate any challenge to their point of view.
"The furore I can deal with."
"Would you like to apologise for misleading your Twitter followers?"@AlexisConran gave @DKShrewsbury the chance to clarify his tweet saying there was 'no Marshall Plan for us.'— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) February 3, 2019
He decided to hang up. pic.twitter.com/A8Sb9fDq1Y
The row comes less than two weeks after the Polish-born MP faced criticism for formally requesting the Polish Government veto any move for an Article 50 extension that would delay Brexit.