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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologizes and admits his mistake over D-Day celebrations

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologized for leaving the international commemoration of the 80th anniversary of D-Day – the Allied landing in Normandy – before the ceremony ended on Thursday. He admitted it was a mistake. As it turned out, the reason for returning to the country early was a television interview.

Sunak came under a wave of criticism for not being elected France until the end of the D-Day anniversary celebrations. The Prime Minister delivered a speech on Thursday morning during the British ceremony organized in Normandy, but he was absent at the main international celebrations on Omaha Beach at 3.30 p.m., which was to be attended by the leaders of 25 countries. It later turned out that the reason for shortening his stay in France was to record a television interview for the British station ITV. It is not scheduled to air until next week.

Sky News reported that there are speculations that Sunak initially did not want to take part in the ceremony because he intended to concentrate on the election campaign for the English Parliament, before the vote scheduled for July 4. Ultimately, the decision not to go to France was reversed and a short visit was compromised.

Sunak: It was a mistake not to stay in France

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On Friday morning, Sunak apologized and said he “cares deeply about veterans”. “This anniversary should be about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The last thing I want is for the celebrations to be overshadowed by politics. I care deeply about veterans and have been honored to represent the UK at a number of events in Portsmouth and France over the course of the last two days and to meet those who fought so bravely. After the end of the British celebration in Normandy, I returned to the UK. On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I am sorry,” Sunak wrote on social media.

Premature return from the celebration

Returning prematurely from the ceremony to focus on the election campaign is counterproductive because politicians from opposition parties, despite Sunak's apology, criticize him for the wrong priorities. – For me it was really important to be there all day, that was the one choicethat I intended to do. The Prime Minister will have to answer for his choices, said Labor leader Keir Starmer.

– One of the greatest privileges of the prime minister's office is to be there to honor those who served and yet Rishi Sunak left them on the beaches of Normandy. This is a complete dereliction of duty and shows why this Conservative government must go,” said Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Rishi Sunak at the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landingsPAP/EPA/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL



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