Sunak’s D-Day Disaster Is Not Going Away Quietly, Backlash Continues

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s early departure from the 80th-anniversary D-Day commemorations for a TV interview has sparked widespread backlash, raising questions about his priorities and respect for veterans. Here’s the full story.

Not Having the Best Time

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is not having the best time in the election campaign. Many consider his handling of the campaign launch to be mishandled, his performance underwhelming, and a recent scandal over his claim that Labour would increase taxes by £2,000 labelled “misleading” by the civil service.

Bungling Open Goals

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Sunak has even managed to bungle what should have been an open goal for any politician during an election campaign: the 80th-anniversary commemorations of D-Day in Normandy.

Leaving Early

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Instead of taking the good press that would come from the Prime Minister looking sufficiently patriotic while honouring the men who fought for the freedoms we all enjoy as he stood next to other world leaders, Rishi Sunak made the incomprehensible decision to leave the event early.

ITV Interview Priority

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An interview caused Sunak’s early departure from the event, as Sunak planned to speak to ITV in the UK.

Condemnation from All Sides

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Sunak’s actions have been widely condemned. The entire political spectrum criticised him for apparently prioritising electoral campaigning over the honouring of the few remaining military veterans who fought in World War II.

Quick Apology Issued

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Sunak quickly issued an apology following the backlash, writing on X, formerly Twitter, “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.”

Respect and Significance Questioned

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Despite the apology, Sunak faced accusations that his decision showed a lack of respect for the veterans and the significance of the commemoration.

“Answer for the Choices He Made”

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Labour leader Keir Starmer criticised Sunak’s judgement, telling the Guardian that Sunak was “going to have to answer for the choices that he made.”

“Nowhere Else I Was Going To Be”

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Starmer added, “For me there was nowhere else I was going to be … There was only one choice, which was to be there, to pay my respects, to say thank you and to have to speak to those veterans.”

“Dereliction of Duty”

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Similarly, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey stated, “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.”

“Couldn’t Even Sacrifice an Afternoon?”

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As Sunak began his apology tour following the outcry, Sky News’ Sam Coates confronted Sunak directly, questioning his priorities with the devastating question: “These men made the ultimate sacrifice and you couldn’t even sacrifice an afternoon?”

“Significant Mistake”

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The perception that Sunak valued a media interview over a historic and solemn event fueled further outrage, with even Conservative Johnny Mercer, the Veterans Minister, labelling it a “significant mistake.”

World Leaders’ Respect

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Many media outlets also highlighted that other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, stayed for the entirety of the commemorations.

Sunak Defends Itinerary

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As he attempted to defend the decision, the Prime Minister insisted that his itinerary was established weeks in advance and that the ongoing election campaign did not influence his decision to leave early.

Sticking to Schedule

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Sunak stated, “I stuck to the itinerary that had been set for me as prime minister weeks ago, before the election, fully participated.”

Acknowledging Mistake

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He continued, “As I said, on reflection it was a mistake not to stay longer and I’ve apologised for that, but I also don’t think it’s right to be political in the midst of D-day commemorations. The focus should rightly be on the veterans and their service and sacrifice for our country.”

Critics Demand Better Priorities

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Nonetheless, critics argue that Sunak should have adjusted his plans to prioritise the D-Day event, especially given its historical significance and the dwindling number of living veterans from the conflict.

Potential Political Implications

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The incident may have lasting implications for Sunak’s political career and the Conservative Party’s standing.

Internal and External Criticism

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His actions have been criticised by opposition parties and within his party, potentially weakening his leadership position.

Reputation and Credibility Damaged

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Sunak’s decision to prioritise a media engagement over a critical historical event may have damaged his reputation and credibility, domestically and internationally, beyond repair.

Campaign Pitfalls Highlighted

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Sunak’s early departure from the D-Day commemoration serves as a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls that can arise during political campaigning, especially when short-term political gains are prioritised over national and historical responsibilities.

Impact on Election Uncertain

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With the outrage continuing to build, it remains to be seen if this most recent gaffe, one of many for Sunak during the early weeks of the general election campaign, will significantly affect the outcome of the election.

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The post Sunak’s D-Day Disaster Is Not Going Away Quietly, Backlash Continues first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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