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Sunak’s D-Day misstep turns into a fiasco

Early journey home causes malice
Sunak’s D-Day misstep turns into a fiasco

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“He is letting the country down,” says a 98-year-old D-Day veteran about the British Prime Minister. Because Sunak is missing from the main celebrations in Normandy to campaign in England, criticism of him is rife at home.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been confronted with severe criticism and malice after his early departure from France to attend the 80th anniversary of D-Day celebrations. In the election campaign for the parliamentary elections scheduled for July 4, this misstep is increasingly turning into a fiasco for the head of government. Sunak's Conservatives are already far behind the Labour opposition in the polls and the election campaign has been more than mixed for Sunak so far.

The conservative head of government had begun his journey home after a ceremony for British soldiers in Normandy with French President Emmanuel Macron and the British royal couple. At an international memorial with Macron, US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other guests, Sunak was represented by his Foreign Minister David Cameron. Instead, he gave a campaign interview to a TV station.

Meme shows Sunak with trolley suitcase in front of war memorial

Although he apologized on Friday, the criticism was scathing. “He's letting the country down,” 98-year-old D-Day veteran Ken Hay told Sky News. Even party colleagues like the Secretary of State for Veterans Johnny Mercer could not defend the decision. “I understand the outrage. This is a mistake. It's a significant mistake for which he has apologized,” Mercer said. Memes circulated on social media, such as a photo montage showing Sunak in front of a war memorial with a rolling suitcase.

Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, who surprisingly announced his candidacy last week, also joined in the criticism. Sunak's premature departure was an insult to the USA, which lost thousands of soldiers during the landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944. “He is not patriotic,” said the right-wing populist, who is challenging the Conservatives for votes on the far right.

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