Conservative infighting erupts as top Tories furious at Rishi Sunak’s D Day snub | Politics | News

Tory infighting over Rishi Sunak’s controversial decision to ditch this week’s D-Day commemorations early has reached new levels, as the PM’s own foreign secretary joins the list of Cabinet Ministers furious with the decision.

Mr Sunak’s campaign came off the rails this week when he was forced into a grovelling apology for leaving the gathering of world leaders prematurely, flying back to Britain before the moving ceremony was halfway over.

In a tweet, the Tory leader said: “On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I apologise”.

Today the Sunday Times has claimed that Lord Cameron was left “apoplectic” about the PM’s decision, as he was left standing in for Mr Sunak alongside President Macron, President Biden and Olaf Scholz.

According to today’s report, Lord Cameron was asked why he had not “picked Sunak up by his lapels” and demanded he stay for the full event.

He responded with resignation: “There is only so much I can do.”

Three Cabinet ministers have now publicly criticised Rishi Sunak’s decision to snub both world leaders and WWII veterans.

Mr Sunak’s veterans minister, Johnny Mercer, branded the move a “significant mistake”, adding: “You can imagine how I felt as Veterans’ Affairs minister when this happened”.

Penny Mordaunt stuck the knife in very publicly during Friday night’s seven-way BBC debate, with the Commons leader telling three million viewers that Mr Sunak’s snub was “completely wrong”.

Ms Mordaunt, the MP for the military seat of Portsmouth, said the Prime Minister has “rightly” apologised to veterans “and all of us”, adding she hopes all veterans feel “incredibly treasured”.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper also joined the chorus of public criticism this weekend, adding: “The Prime Minister made a mistake. He’s apologised for it, and he’s apologised to those who would have been particularly hurt by it”.

The Sunday Times reports that, contrary to widespread reporting this week, Mr Sunak didn’t return to Britain early specifically for an interview with ITV, but to sign of the Conservatives’ election manifesto.

A senior political source claims that they were given official advice that the second half of the event “was optional”, and would be a social gathering for world leaders that President Biden wouldn’t be attending either.

However one of Lord Cameron’s close allies did advise Mr Sunak to “do” the full schedule, pointing out that in 2014 the then-Prime Minister described the D-Day 70th anniversary as “the best moment of my year”.

The paper also claims that the entirety of Mr Sunak’s top advisory team have their ‘hands covered in blood’ over the decision, as it was signed off at Tory HQ on Monday in the presence of Isaac Levido, Liam Booth-Smith and James Forsyth.

A diplomatic source also reveals that the French were left very confused by the decision, asking: “Doesn’t Sunak realise there is a war on and that Zelensky was attending? President Macron was going to use the occasion to make announcements about support for Ukraine.

“The idea of skipping something ceremonial like this is so alien to French culture.”

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