On Monday, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail online published stories about a number of cartoons and children’s books including 2012’s ‘Three Generations of Farmers’, which teaches children about the common agricultural policy; ‘Partners’ which looks at regional funding and was published last year, and 2013 publication ‘On the Road to Victory’, telling the tale of a class of international students from Bratislava on a road trip.
The two newspapers’ stories on the books criticised the costs to the EU budget – including highlighting that the publications are available for free – with the Telegraph saying a "similar comic published five years ago to promote EU aid work was said to have cost £200,000", although the EU has not given precise figures in either case.
An EU spokesman told the Telegraph it was important that young people were "informed about what the EU is, what it does and why it is important, in their own language".
Paul Nuttall, the UKIP deputy leader, said it was not appropriate for these materials to be used in schools, saying they were "essentially EU propaganda".
He said: "The Education Act 1996 makes it clear that the pursuit or promotion of partisan political views is strictly forbidden in schools, and for very good reason. Children should be free to study and grow without being indoctrinated by an organisation that is quite clearly political, as it is controlled, praised and criticised by politicians at all levels.
"It is telling that the EU feels it has to try to get children indoctrinated at an early age, because they’re clearly worried that more and more adults are turning their back on this wasteful institution."