Rishi Sunak slammed for leaving D-Day commemoration early for ITV interview

“If he came back for a political interview from the D-Day commemoration, that is absolutely indefensible.”

Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron at D-Day commemorations

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been condemned for his ‘indefensible’ decision to leave commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day early so he could film a TV interview.

Sunak made the decision to come home from France midway through the event, so he could record an interview with ITV which is not due to air until next week.

The Prime Minister did not attend the late afternoon ceremony at Omaha beach, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, and instead returned to the UK. Paul Brand, ITV’s UK editor, said the prime minister returned from Normandy to do an interview.

His decision has been met with fury from across the political divide, including from supporters of his own party.

Conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie told BBC’s Newsnight: “If he came back for a political interview from the D-Day commemoration, that is absolutely indefensible.”

He added: “This is going to be the last big commemoration when survivors will be present. I think it’s political malpractice of the highest order if Rishi Sunak absented himself for an election interview on ITV.”

James O-Brien said on LBC: “Here you are, flying back early from a D-Day commemoration to double down on a lie you’ve already been busted for telling.”

Carol Vorderman posted on X: “Rishi Sunak is a hypocrite and a liar. Who has shown nothing but disrespect to a proud generation of veterans on D-Day.

“But he hasn’t simply disrespected the wonderful veterans who were there yesterday @RishiSunak is the Prime Minister, and in this single action has shown contempt for all those who fought throughout the war.”

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said: “The prime minister skipping off early from D-Day commemorations to record a television interview where he once again lied through his teeth is both an embarrassment and a total dereliction of duty.

“Our country deserves so much better than out-of-touch, desperate Rishi Sunak and his chaotic Tory Party.”

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “One of the greatest privileges of the office of prime minister is to be there to honour those who served, yet Rishi Sunak abandoned them on the beaches of Normandy. He has brought shame to that office and let down our country.

“I am thinking right now of all those veterans and their families he left behind and the hurt they must be feeling. It is a total dereliction of duty and shows why this Conservative government just has to go.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Simon Dawson / Number 10 – Creative Commons

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