Press unable to question Rishi Sunak during North East visit after D-Day fallout

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Big Help Out project in Bishop Auckland
-Credit: (Image: PA)


The Prime Minister visited the North East today but the press were unable to question him.

Rishi Sunak visited a walled garden at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, during Saturday’s campaign trail stops. But an opportunity for the media to put questions to him did not take place as was originally planned.

The reason for the change of plan is likely following the fallout on Friday of his early return from D-Day commemorations in Normandy. He went on to apologise, saying "it was a mistake" not to stay in France for the international event after he had attended the earlier British ceremony in Normandy.

At the garden visit today, Mr Sunak spoke with volunteers Margaret Lambert and Hilary Bellwood, who encouraged him to apply for an allotment garden. He also watered plants with Jane MacBean, Conservative candidate for Bishop Auckland. Members of the public could be seen gathered at a hillside above the garden to try and catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister within.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Big Help Out project in Bishop Auckland, County Durham
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Big Help Out project in Bishop Auckland, County Durham -Credit:PA

Mr Sunak came under intense criticism after it emerged he missed the D-Day event with fellow world leaders to head back to the UK for an ITV interview. The PM said: "I care deeply about veterans and have been honoured to represent the UK at a number of events in Portsmouth and France over the past two days and to meet those who fought so bravely. 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."

The Prime Minister attended the UK national event at Portsmouth on Wednesday and then the British ceremony in Normandy on Thursday, the anniversary of the allied landings on D-Day. But he left France before world leaders including US President Joe Biden gathered for the main international ceremony on Thursday afternoon. Instead, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron was the senior UK minister at the event.