'Patriot to his core': Mel Stride defends Rishi Sunak's D-Day move

'Patriot to his core': Mel Stride defends Rishi Sunak's D-Day move
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 09/06/2024

- 11:18

PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak accepts that it was an error for him to leave the D-Day commemorations in France early, according to Work and Pension Secretary Mel Stride.

He told GB News: “The Prime Minister accepts that he made a mistake in not attending the international elements of those commemorations.

“He was there incidentally at Portsmouth and he did attend all the British led events in Normandy but he absolutely recognises that he made a mistake to have left when he did.

“He's issued an unequivocal apology. He uses the words I am sorry. And knowing him as I do, I think he will be feeling this very deeply because he's a deeply patriotic man.”

Asked if the PM had been poorly advised, he said: “I don't work very closely at the centre of the campaign but I do have some dealings with it and have always found it extremely professional, very focused.

“We are the party that is coming out with the bold offering to the British people, for example, in my area, the triple lock plus which is going to prevent millions of pensioners being dragged into income tax in the years ahead.

“This is important because the Labour Party is saying they will not support that, so they are prepared under Labour to see millions of pensioners paying income tax and paying more tax if they're already paying tax.

“And that is what you're going to get under a Labour government and these are the big issues of this election.”

When asked if this was due to the Government freezing tax thresholds, he said: “You have to look at where you are with the current fiscal arrangements then ask the questions: do we leave taxes where they are or put them up or take them down?

“We've taken the decision to take those taxes down for pensioners. Labour have taken the decision to put them up but of course what we have done is supported pensioners incomes really strongly so since 2010, the state pension has gone up by £3,700.

“Under Labour, we had the fourth highest level of pensioner poverty in Europe, and that's because they gave us a 75p increase for pensioners.”

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