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General election latest: Sunak leaving D-Day event early was an ‘own goal’, says former


A former head of the Royal Navy said Rishi Sunak’s decision to leave D-Day commemorations in Normandy early was an “own goal” and a “cock-up”. 

Admiral Lord West, who is a Labour peer, said it was “absolutely surprising and extraordinary” that Mr Sunak had returned to the UK rather than attend an international gathering with other world leaders. 

Lord West, who was First Sea Lord from 2002 to 2006, told the BBC Radio 4 World at One programme: “I find it very strange that he should do such an own goal, I mean it comes across so badly.” 

He added: “I’m sure Rishi Sunak himself is a decent man but his advisers should have told him. They’re probably paid lots of money in PR terms but what a cock-up, I mean absolutely dreadful and it comes over so badly. 

“Yes he has apologised but I think people are becoming fed up with apologies.”

Mr Sunak did attend a British service in Normandy yesterday morning to mark the 80-year anniversary of D-Day but he returned to the UK to take part in a general election interview with ITV. 

He tweeted this morning: “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.”

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