Prime Minister Rishi Sunak 'very sorry' for leaving D-Day events early as he visits county school in Veterans Way

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets pupils during a Conservative general election campaign event at the Great Oldbury Primary Academy on June 7, 2024 in Stonehouse
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apologised again today for deciding to leave the D-Day commemorations in Normandy early yesterday while visiting Gloucestershire. The Conservative leader visited Great Oldbury Academy which is ironically in Veterans Way, Great Oldbury near Stonehouse.

He was there supporting the Tories' Stroud candidate Siobhan Baillie who is seeking re-election on July 4. When asked why he decided to leave the World War Two commemoration events in France early, he said he was very sorry.

He explained his itinerary had been organised weeks ago. He said that while he missed the international leaders event he had already “fully participated” in the UK D-Day commemoration events with British veterans.

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“I was pleased to attend events both in Portsmouth and in France over the past couple of days to honour those who risked everything to defend our freedom and values 80 years ago,” he said. “My itinerary for these things was set a long time ago before the election started weeks ago.

“It was always the itinerary that I was going to fully participate in the UK events with British veterans that I did and after that to return back to the UK. But, on reflection, it was a mistake not to stay longer for the international leaders event that was held later in the day held in France and for that I am very sorry.

“I also think it’s important to ensure the focus of the last couple of days is on the service of all of those we are commemorating. I have had the great honour and privilege, in fact, a humbling experience of speaking to many veterans and their families over the past couple of days.

“Hearing their stories, making sure I could express my gratitude to them personally. But also ensuring our young generation understands what’s gone before so that we are living in the way we are today.”