Rishi Sunak ‘should absolutely’ be leading the Tories despite D-Day controversy, says Mel Stride

Rishi Sunak ‘should absolutely’ be leading the Tories despite D-Day controversy, says Mel Stride
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 11/06/2024

- 09:39

Updated: 11/06/2024

- 10:33

WORK and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has backed Rishi Sunak and insisted that the Prime Minister is a “deeply patriotic person” despite criticism of him over the D-Day commemorations.

Asked if Rishi Sunak should be leading the Conservatives, he told GB News: “He should absolutely be leading the party today.

“What he's going to be setting out today in our manifesto is a very clear choice. It's a binary choice between ourselves as a party which now is seeing the highest joint level of growth in the G7.

“We've got inflation down to near normal levels. We've got rising real wages, which has been going on now for 11 consecutive months, and we're now going to be delivering some pretty big tax cuts.

“We've already cut taxes for 29 million working people worth £900 for an average earner. We're going to go further in our manifesto today, so there'll be more of that to come.

“And the other part of the choice, of course, is Labour with no plan, just kind of trying to protect this poll lead that they've got and say nothing at all.”

On Sunak leaving the D-Day commemorations, he said: “It was certainly a mistake and the Prime Minister has quite rightly and very promptly accepted that and come forward with a very unequivocal public apology for what happened and I know that he will be feeling this very deeply personally.

“I say that because I know him quite well and I know him to be a deeply patriotic person, having seen him around the Cabinet table quite close up for some time now.

“I know how much he cares, for example, about veterans and our defence and that's why we've got a veterans minister at the Cabinet table as well.

“It's why we've continued to fund the veterans unit in the Cabinet Office and will continue to do so if we're re-elected, and indeed…come forward with new laws to legally enshrine the support that we are providing for our veterans in terms of welfare and health and housing and all the things that matter to them.

“So a mistake has clearly been made. A very sincere apology has been given. But our Prime Minister is a deeply patriotic person and yes, absolutely, he'll be leading us into this General Election.”

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