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Political Firestorm: PM Sunak Faces Backlash for Early Departure from D-Day Event Amidst Heated Election Campaign

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Penny Mordaunt Criticizes PM for Cutting D-Day Event Short

Penny Mordaunt, the former defense secretary and one-time Royal Naval reservist, has acknowledged Rishi Sunak's apology but opposition figures persist in condemning the Prime Minister's early departure from D-Day ceremonies.

Political correspondent @NifS

Saturday, June 8, 2024, 7:

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A top cabinet official criticized the prime minister for departing prematurely from the D-Day memorial events, labeling the action as "completely wrong."

On Friday, Rishi Sunak expressed regret for missing an international gathering on Omaha Beach in France, which had been attended by leaders from the US, France, and Germany. He returned to the UK for a television interview instead of attending the event the previous day.

In addition to political backlash, he faced disapproval from veterans too, including 98-year-old Ken Hay, who expressed to Sky News, "He disappoints this nation."

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During a BBC discussion on Friday evening, Penny Mordaunt, the Conservative leader in the House, reiterated disputed allegations that the Labour Party plans to increase taxes for families by £2,000.

Ms. Mordaunt previously acknowledged that her superior should have stayed at the D-Day event, yet she commended his apology, noting that he offered it "not only to the veterans but to everyone, as he was our representative there."

The former member of the Royal Navy Reserve stated, "I hail from Portsmouth. I have served as the defence secretary as well. My hope by week's end is for every veteran to feel utterly valued.

"Tonight, I aim to persuade you of certain matters that are crucial to their heritage. To achieve this, I must be completely honest with you regarding this topic."

Nevertheless, despite her plea for the issue to not be politicized, she faced a flurry of criticism from her opponents regarding the prime minister's choice.

Coverage of Mordaunt in Television Discussion: Reasons Why Sunak Must Consider Her a Challenger

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Stephen Flynn, the SNP's Westminster leader, stated: "A prime minister who prioritizes his political ambitions over public duty fails to truly serve as a prime minister. A prime minister who places his personal political interests above the needs of Normandy war veterans does not deserve the title at all."

"It is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in our democratic duty and remove the Conservative Party from power."

Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, criticized the prime minister harshly, calling it a "total and absolute disgrace" and labeling him "unpatriotic." Farage added, "If he shared the British public's instincts, he wouldn't have considered missing the major international event for even a second, demonstrating just how out of touch he is with the citizens of this nation."

Plaid Cymru chief Rhun ap Iorwerth expressed that it was "definitely not the day for a prime minister to choose… to battle for his own political survival," while also reproaching Mr. Farage for exploiting the memorial events as a "photo opportunity."

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During a discussion, Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, recounted a wartime incident involving her grandfather, a veteran, who heroically caught his best friend as he fell from the top of a tank after being shot in the head while crossing through water.

Labeling Mr. Sunak's action as "politically disgraceful," she continued, "Had my grandfather been present yesterday and witnessed the prime minister ignoring him, I would consider it, as I do now, absolutely inexcusable."

Further details: Amid laughter over a GP-related jest, a heckler expresses concerns about the NHS falling apart, while Lord Cameron is targeted by prank calls and texts.

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Representatives from seven different political parties participating in the general election engaged in a debate covering various topics, including healthcare, housing, immigration, and taxation, during the program.

Throughout the debate, Labour's Angela Rayner and Ms. Mordaunt clashed fiercely, particularly during a heated discussion about the Conservative's contentious allegation that Labour plans to increase taxes by £2,000 in the upcoming parliamentary term.

Stay informed on the most recent updates from the UK and international news by tuning into Sky News.

During his debate with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on Tuesday, Mr. Sunak frequently cited a specific statistic. However, the next day, a high-ranking official from the Treasury clarified that the figure was not officially generated by the civil service, and several economic authorities challenged its accuracy.

In a sharp exchange with Ms. Rayner, Ms. Mordaunt reiterated her assertion, also accusing Labour of planning to introduce 12 new taxes.

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party accused the government of dishonesty, criticizing them for escalating taxes to unprecedented heights while they have been in power.

The exchange allowed their fellow panelists to tease the duo, as Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer remarked sarcastically, "That was incredibly graceful, wasn't it?"

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