Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski confronted over incorrect Marshall Plan tweet | Politics News

A Conservative MP who incorrectly claimed Britain did not get any money from the United States after the Second World War has apologised “if I have caused any offence”.

Daniel Kawczynski was criticised for wrongly saying in a message on his Twitter account that Britain did not benefit from the Marshall Plan in 1948.

This was a scheme in which the US gave more than $12bn ($100bn, or £76bn, in today’s money) to countries in Western Europe to help them rebuild in the aftermath of the conflict.

Britain received the largest proportion of the fund, getting about a quarter of the money, making its last repayment in 2006.

Daniel Kawcynski claimed Britain did not get anything from the Marshall Plan
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The tweet has not been deleted from the MP’s Twitter page

But Mr Kawczynski tweeted: “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.”

When asked about this tweet during an appearance on Sky News to talk about Brexit, Mr Kawczynski said he had “got into a lot of trouble over that”.

The Shrewsbury MP continued: “What I would say is – and I think that people have said – really, it’s very difficult for MPs to get everything across in the limited number of characters.

“What I was trying to say is I believe the United Kingdom did not benefit as much as other countries because of the huge loans we had to take out during the Second World War, which we only finished paying off in 2007.

“If I have caused any offence with that tweet I apologise.”

When pushed on whether he agreed his message – which has not been deleted – was factually wrong, Mr Kawczynski acknowledged “Britain did receive money under the Marshall Plan”.

He added: “But the huge loans that she took and the massive task that she took on by herself to liberate half of Europe cost her dearly and she’s been paying those loans right up until 10 years ago.”

Mr Kawczynski initially refused to apologise or correct his statement on 2 February, instead pulling up his critics for misspelling his surname.

He also hung up during a radio interview when confronted about the tweet.

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