Sunak apologises for missing D-Day ceremony

Thursday 13th June 2024 06:40 EDT

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued an apology for departing from D-Day commemorations in France prematurely to return to the election campaign trail—a move criticised as disgraceful by his political adversaries.

Sunak, currently fighting to retain his position in Britain’s July 4 election, conceded that, "on reflection," the decision was an error. During the major memorial event at Omaha Beach in Normandy on Thursday, Sunak was notably absent alongside leaders such as U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Instead, former Prime Minister David Cameron, now foreign minister, represented the UK.

Meanwhile, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, the favoured contender in the election, attended the event and was photographed meeting Zelensky and other leaders. Earlier that day, Sunak participated in a ceremony at the British memorial in Normandy alongside King Charles III and surviving World War II veterans. He had also attended a commemoration in Portsmouth, England, the day before.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Sunak emphasised that the 80th anniversary of the Allied invasion, pivotal in liberating Europe from the Nazis, should centre on honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice. He expressed regret over the decision to leave France early, stating, "On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer—and I apologise."

Labour leader Keir Starmer asserted that Mr. Sunak would have to justify his decision to resume campaigning, stating, "For me, there was only one choice... There was nowhere else I was going to be." Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey criticised Mr. Sunak's departure as "a total dereliction of duty."

Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, said “patriotic people who love their country” should not vote for Sunak.

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