Stokie Dawn tells Rishi Sunak her sons need National Service as they're 'more brawn than brains'

A Churchill China worker sparked laughter when she told Prime Minister Rishi Sunak her sons are 'more brawn than brains' at a campaigning event in Stoke-on-Trent today (May 28).

Mr Sunak was answering questions from pottery workers in Tunstall at a Q&A where he was introduced by Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis.

Dawn Condliffe, from Stoke-on-Trent, made the joke as she pressed the Tory leader on his recently-announced plans to introduce mandatory national service for all 18-year-olds.

Telling Mr Sunak her two sons are aged 20 and 29 - she added: "Without sounding disrespectful to them they're more brawn than brains." Her statement sparked hilarity at the event, with the Prime Minister telling her: "Let's hope they're not watching!"

READ: 496-day-old Papa Johns pizza receipt lands couple with £1.2k fly-tipping fine - David and Kelley Shropshire, from Smallthorne, are refusing to pay the Stoke-on-Trent City Council penalty

READ: Neighbours at war as mum fined £600 for leaving 'two boxes' next to bin - Heather Twigg, from Fenton, is refusing to pay her Stoke-on-Trent City Council fine

During the visit, Mr Sunak was also asked about his offer for a new generation of veterans who complete his proposed national service scheme.

He faced questions from the company’s staff at an event attended by Mr Gullis and other local Tory MPs, Aaron Bell (Newcastle under Lyme), and Karen Bradley (Staffordshire Moorlands).

There he was asked for more detail about his plans for a new national service scheme, under which 18-year-olds would be asked to serve in the military for 12 months or take part in monthly volunteer activities.

Jade Burden, who works in HR at the company, asked if Mr Sunak has a “plan to look after people in the future when they have then left the forces” following the scheme.

He replied that he wants the UK to be the “best country in the world to be a veteran”, and pointed to veterans minister Johnny Mercer’s place at the Cabinet table.

Speaking to reporters following the Q&A, Ms Burden said: “I understand what he is saying about looking after veterans; however, it is not always that plain sailing.

“The experience he has described is a lot different to what I experienced and what a lot of my friends experienced when they were part of the forces.”

She said some veterans she knows have experienced problems with employment and housing on returning to civilian life.

Asked if she thinks the scheme could lead to a larger number of veterans facing these issues, she said: “Potentially, yes. I went in at 16 and I came out at 22 due to my asthma.

“Yeah, that could be potentially an issue, but it depends whether or not they look at producing something to get people ready for that when they come out.”

The staff member would not reveal how she might vote, but suggested Mr Sunak’s speech has not changed her mind.

Sign up to our main daily newsletter here and get all the latest news straight to your inbox for FREE