'I'd love to dump Rishi right now over D-Day blunder but it simply can't be done' - Kelvin Mackenzie

'I'd love to dump Rishi right now over D-Day blunder but it simply can't be done' - Kelvin Mackenzie

Rishi Sunak has issued an apology for leaving D-Day celebrations early yesterday

Kelvin Mackenzie

By Kelvin Mackenzie

Published: 07/06/2024

- 14:10

Kelvin Mackenzie says Rishi Sunak made a big political error by leaving the D-Day remembrance service early so he could be interviewed about the General Election

The reality is that had Rishi Sunak dropped his D-Day clanger at any other time he would be gone as Prime Minister within a month.

Much as many Tory MPs would like to dump Rishi, they can’t because in 27 days’ time there is a General Election and the Tories would literally be wiped out if somebody they had hardly heard of begged for their vote.

That means we are lumbered with him. But not for much longer.

What I can’t understand is why he didn’t realise that ending the day glad-handing Biden, Macron, Scholz and Co was not simply a case of lining up a new job after July 4 but a show to a nervous world that the West was united.

I don’t doubt that Rishi loves the country, but I suspect it’s all ambition and no heart.

Why on earth would he choose to rush back to the UK from one of the most important dates in the calendar for an interview about taxes with a clapped-out television network. This was not important.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak making apology after leaving D-Day anniversary celebrations early and PM making speech yesterday

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticised for leaving the D-Day event yesterday early


Let me repeat, this was NOT important. Staying in France was important, even if much of it was pageant.

Our freedoms are important and how we won them are to be celebrated.

There is some suggestion, and I can hardly believe this, that he was not planning to even go to the British commemoration at Normandy but instead leave it to Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

Even he must have understood that would have been a PR disaster.

I sometimes think that Rishi doesn’t get politics. He understands it intellectually, but not emotionally. Is he so dominant within No.10 that nobody would point out what the optics would look like if he skipped off early?

Over the day you will see a number of Cabinet ministers wheeled out saying two things.

A) That it was a significant mistake and B) That the PM has done plenty for the veterans while in power.

That was the line taken by Jonny Mercer, the Cabinet minister for the Veterans.

I parted company with Mr Mercer when he described the row as ‘’faux outrage’’.

I can only speak for myself when I say I am bloody angry that he didn’t stay.

I absolutely guarantee that the polling over the next 24 hours will be beyond dreadful. At the moment it’s looking like somewhere between 19-23 per cent for the Tories and 15-17 per cent for Reform. It’s not beyond possibility that those results will be reversed.

Imagine the Tories going into Election Day in third place. Were that to happen it would mean the Tories having less than 100 MPs.

Over the days ahead, the row will subside and be replaced other contentious issues.

But in every General Election, there is a phrase or an action which defines a party- and almost always sinks it. Gordon Brown describing that lady in Bury as ‘’bigot’’ was the one that most easily springs to mind.

That lady was speaking for us all. And Brown lost.

Rishi Sunak at D-Day memorial event in Normandy

Rishi Sunak left the D-Day memorial event in Normandy early so he could head to London for an interview with ITV


Sunak was always going to lose – Reform is doing more damage than Labour - but how he lost was important for him and for the future of the Conservative.

The size of his D-Day mistake means that he won’t be remembered as a competent technocrat but a man who didn’t understand where D-Day and similar commemorations stood in the nation’s psyche.

That is inexcusable for the leader of the Conservative Party. He will pay a heavy price when his time is chronicled but so will the country as we will have our country run by Socialists for the next five years.

It won’t be all Rishi’s fault but thanks to D-Day blunder he will have made a contribution.

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