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'It was a mistake': Rishi Sunak apologises for leaving D-Day event early for TV interview – Politics.co.uk


Rishi Sunak has apologised for leaving D-Day commemorations in Normandy early on Thursday to head back to the UK and return to the general election campaign.

The PM did attend a British ceremony yesterday morning to mark the 80-year anniversary of D-Day, but he did not attend an international gathering with other world leaders.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps and foreign secretary Lord David Cameron had taken the PM’s place, with the latter was pictured alongside leaders like Germany’s Olaf Scholz, the US’s Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron.

Labour accused Sunak of a “dereliction of duty” while the Liberal Democrats said the premier had “brought shame” to the office of prime minister ahead of his apology.

In a post on X/Twitter on Friday morning, the prime minister said: “After the conclusion of the British event in Normandy, I returned back to the UK. On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I apologise.”

“The 80th anniversary of D-Day has been a profound moment to honour the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our values, our freedom and our democracy.

“This anniversary should be about those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The last thing I want is for the commemorations to be overshadowed by politics.

“I care deeply about veterans and have been honoured to represent the UK at a number of events in Portsmouth and France over the past two days and to meet those who fought so bravely.

“After the conclusion of the British event in Normandy, I returned back to the UK. On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I apologise.”

Responding to the statement, Labour has labelled Sunak “out of touch” and claimed he shown “dreadful judgement”.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said: “Yesterday’s D-Day commemorations were about remembering the bravery of all those who serve our country.

“In choosing to prioritise his own vanity TV appearances over our veterans, Rishi Sunak has shown what is most important to him.

“It is yet more desperation, yet more chaos, and yet more dreadful judgement from this out of touch Prime Minister.”

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