Rishi Sunak did not consider quitting after D-Day scandal – and hits back at Nigel Farage comments about ‘our culture’ | Politics News

Rishi Sunak did not consider resigning in the wake of the D-Day controversy, he said on Monday as he criticised Nigel Farage’s claim he does not understand “our culture”.

After lying low over the weekend, the prime minister on Monday sought to draw a line under the controversy over his early departure from D-Day commemorations in Normandy.

Back out on the campaign trail today, Mr Sunak said he would continue “fighting for the future of our country” and carry on “until the last day of this campaign”.

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Senior Conservatives at the weekend were forced to deny claims he could quit before polling day on 4 July.

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Rishi Sunak is ‘deeply patriotic’

This morning, policing minister Chris Philp told Sky News he was “shocked and disappointed” the D-Day gaffe, while he also defended his close ally.

Asked if he at the weekend had considered quitting, Mr Sunak said: “No. Of course not.”

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“I am energised about the vision we are putting forward for the country. This campaign is not even halfway through yet,” he told reporters in Horsham, West Sussex.

He had attended other D-Day events in Normandy earlier on Thursday, and in Portsmouth on Wednesday.

He added: “There are lots of people who want to write me off, write this off, say this campaign or the election is a foregone conclusion.

“They’ve been saying that, by the way, ever since I’ve got this job, right? Not since this election campaign.”

Mr Sunak added: “The reality is I’m not going to stop going, I’m not going to stop fighting for people’s votes, I’m not going to stop fighting for the future of our country.”

Rishi Sunak serves cakes and hot drinks to members of the media at a garden centre in Crawley.
Pic: Reuters
Rishi Sunak serves cakes and hot drinks to members of the media at a garden centre in Crawley. Pic: Reuters

Rishi Sunak helps himself to a cake.
Pic: Reuters
Pic: Reuters

Striking a more conciliatory tone than his apology on Friday, Mr Sunak today said he “[hopes] people can find it in their hearts to forgive me”.

The Liberal Democrats said the PM had hit “rock bottom” by being forced to dismiss resignation rumours.

The party’s local government spokeswoman Helen Morgan said: “This is rock bottom for Rishi Sunak. A Conservative leader having to rule out resigning before election day shows that the wheels have completely come off the Conservative campaign.”

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Mr Sunak also hit back at a claim by Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing Reform UK party, that he does not understand “our culture”.

The Reform UK leader has drawn condemnation after saying the British-Asian prime minister does not “care” about UK history in an attack over his decision to leave D-Day commemoration events early last week.

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Shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood branded the comments “dog whistle” politics, while Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said they made him “very uncomfortable”.

Asked about the comments in an informal briefing with reporters, the PM said: “I’m not going to get involved in that because I don’t think it’s good for our politics or indeed our country.”


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