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Sunak apologised to ITV after D-Day events ‘ran over’

Rishi Sunak apologised to ITV for being late for an interview, blaming D-Day commemorations for leading him to stay in Normandy longer than he planned.

The Prime Minister suffered a massive backlash, and triggered Tory concerns he might have cost the party the election, after leaving the 80th anniversary events in Normandy last Thursday early, returning to the UK to pre-record an interview with ITV.

But it has now emerged that he expected to get back to the UK earlier.

In the programme, which will air this evening, it is revealed that Sunak opened the interview by telling ITV’s UK editor and host Paul Brand: “Sorry to have kept you,” adding that the D-Day events “all just ran over”.

The Prime Minister then described the occasion as “incredible” and repeated that “it just ran over”, adding: “Apologies for keeping you.”

Mr Sunak went on to say he met “lots” of veterans over two days of commemorations and that he “already spoke to almost everyone that was there, I hope”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has spoken exclusively to Paul Brand, the presenter of ITV's Tonight Tonight programme.
Mr Sunak told Mr Brand’Aapologies for keeping you’ (Photo: ITV)

But the revelation that he apologised for being late for the interview, even after leaving D-Day events early, risks reigniting the row that led to him apologising on Friday and being forced to rule out resigning before election day.

Mr Sunak has since repeatedly apologised for leaving the commemorations in Normandy “after the conclusion of the British event”. He said: “On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I apologise.”

Elsewhere in the ITV Tonight interview, Sunak faced questions about his background, and was asked if he was in touch with ordinary people’s struggles and if he ever went without anything as a child.

The Prime Minister replied: “There’ll be all sorts of things that I would have wanted as a kid that I couldn’t have. Right? Famously Sky TV, so that was something that we never had growing up actually, but it was lots of things.”

Sunak also batted away questions about Nigel Farage, whose Reform party is threatening to steal votes from the Tories, and who some of the Prime Minister’s own candidates have urged him to bring under the party’s umbrella.

“I really don’t know him,” Sunak said. “I think I’ve met him maybe once in my life. I don’t know him.”

Responding to the early excerpts of the interview, Labour’s shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth, said: “No one will believe any of Rishi Sunak’s promises. He has failed to provide any credible savings to fund his desperate wish list. The money simply is not there.

“All Rishi Sunak offers is five more years of chaos and £4,800 more on family mortgages.”

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