DUNFERMLINE and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has faced severe criticism this week for a “grossly insensitive” Tweet published on the eve of Remembrance Day.

The social media post on the Dunfermline MP’s account suggested that the 51st Highland Division were sacrificed deliberately by Winston Churchill during Second World War to persuade the French to stay in the war, holding it up as an example of Scots being treated badly by the British Establishment.

Mr Chapman deleted the Tweet but his comments have been branded as “disgraceful” by members of the public and political opponents as people across West Fife and the UK were marking the centenary of Armistice.

Reader Paul Hayter-Farrell messaged the Press Facebook page after seeing the Tweet and said: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour from an MP.”

Upset reader Peter Muir also contacted us via our website and said: “I would like to ask what your view is on our latest local MP’s Tweet on the eve of Remembrance Day as I find his Tweet totally disgusting as I lost family during this war.

“Trying to point-score on war dead.”

George Eggo emailed us to say: “This needs looked into, utterly disgusting comment.”

While Bruce McAuliffe also highlighted the Tweet over the weekend and emailed: “Please see the attached Tweet that my local MP posted on the eve of Remembrance Sunday. An absolute disgrace!”

The Tweet stated: “WW2: ‘Over 58,000 Scots died & the deliberate sacrifice of the 51st Highland Division by Churchill, in a vain effort to keep the French in the war, is another perfect example of the way in which the British establishment has repaid Scottish commitment to the Union’ @Jim Fairlie”.

The Tweet was quoting politician Jim Fairlie from a blog he wrote in 2014 titled, ‘Have Scots Not Sacrificed Enough for This Damnable Union?’ Mr Chapman caused a backlash on social media with some calling on him to stand down, but local constituents also wrote to the Press to express their disappointment in their MP.

Tory Dunfermline North councillor Gavin Ellis said: “I can only hope that this Tweet was put out by a member of his staff without truly thinking it through.

“For an elected member to make these claims on the eve of the centenary of the Armistice for political gamesmanship is truly appalling and many residents across Dunfermline and West Fife will rightfully expect a public apology from Mr Chapman.

“However, I doubt Mr Chapman will see what was wrong with his Tweet and what it does to the memory of the brave men and woman from Dunfermline and West Fife who past and present have put their lives on the line for our United Kingdom’s.”

Cara Hilton, Labour’s candidate for Dunfermline and West Fife at the next General Election, added: “I was shocked to see Mr Chapman’s Tweet on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

“I’m not sure what he was trying to achieve by his grossly insensitive observation but coming at a time of national remembrance for the brave men and women who gave their lives, so their families and communities could have a brighter, peaceful future, he should be ashamed of himself.

“As the MP for our area, Mr Chapman should be respectfully representing the whole of our community, yet it appears there is no limit to where he is willing to pursue his nationalist obsession.

“This whole episode displays an astonishing lack of judgement which he has now acknowledged by deleting the offensive Tweet.

“I hope Mr Chapman will offer an apology for the upset he has caused so many in Dunfermline and West Fife and indeed, right across Scotland at this time of remembrance.”

The Press spoke to Mr Chapman but he declined to comment.

An SNP spokesperson said: “Mr Chapman deleted the Tweet and regrets any offence it might have caused.”