British PM Rishi Sunak apologises for leaving D-Day ceremony early

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologized Friday for leaving D-Day commemorations in France early to return to the election campaign trail — a decision slammed as disgraceful by his political rivals.

Sunak, who is fighting to keep his job in Britain’s July 4 election, said that, “on reflection” the decision was a mistake.

Sunak was not alongside leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the major memorial event at Omaha Beach in Normandy on Thursday. Former Prime Minister David Cameron, who is now foreign minister, represented the U.K.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, the current favorite to win the election, attended and was pictured meeting Zelenskyy and other leaders.

Sunak had earlier attended a ceremony at the British memorial in Normandy alongside King Charles III and surviving World War II veterans. He also attended a commemoration in Portsmouth, England, the day before.

Sunak wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the 80th anniversary of the Allied invasion that helped free Europe from the Nazis “should be about those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The last thing I want is for the commemorations to be overshadowed by politics.”

He added: “On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer — and I apologise," he wrote.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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