Forcing Ukrainians to flee across Europe 'plays into Putin's hands', says Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski

Credit: UK Parliament

Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski is not afraid to speak out on matters he feels strongly about.

But in a now deleted tweet, he caused something of a furore with his suggestion that it was "immoral and illiterate" for the UK to take in more refugees from Ukraine. 

Fellow Conservatives hit back with one saying "you do not speak for the Tory Party. I'm not sure you speak for humanity."

So what lies behind Daniel Kawczynski's original message?  He has contacted me with the following statement. He says: "Labour, SNP and Liberals all attacking PM at PMQs over Ukrainian refugee issue. I feel it is grossly unfair.

"No European country has done more to support and train Ukrainian armed forces and to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. 

"I felt that these politicians are deliberately pandering to the populist agenda/narrative which is Britain is impeding Ukrainians from seeking sanctuary on our shores. 

"Putin is deliberately attempting to frighten professional educated Ukrainians away so that it weakens them as a nation.

"The greatest resources any country has are its people. Putin wants to drive them away so that his efforts to Russify large parts of Ukraine lead to its control by Russia either directly or as a puppet state. 

"That’s why I call this immoral as it plays right into his hands to throw these Ukrainians to every far corner of Europe and the world.

"Only Ireland and Iceland are further away from Ukraine on a European context. 

"The sensible and moral action is to support the millions of Ukrainians who have crossed the border but are close to their loved ones left behind fighting.

"We should be supporting them in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova."

Put simply, the MP believes that the current policy plays into the hands of Vladimir Putin. 

But Daniel Kawczynski is keen to add that should the situation change and Ukraine be defeated by Russia he would be the first to go to the Prime Minister to call for Britain to take in those fleeing their homeland.

Clearly, there are strong views on both sides of this debate - the Shrewsbury MP is well aware of that.