Media not ‘allowed anywhere near’ Sunak after ‘farcical’ D-Day fiasco

UK

Tory HQ has released pictures of Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail after media minders sought to shield the embattled prime minister in the wake of his D-Day departure gaffe.

Journalists were kept away from the Tory leader for a second day as he canvassed support in Bedale, Yorkshire.

With just weeks to go before the election, the move to only post a handful of selected images on the Conservative Party’s official Flickr account showing the prime minister’s campaigning efforts on Sunday has fuelled accusations Mr Sunak is “dodging” scrutiny following the France fiasco.

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Image:
Pic: Conservative Party/Flickr

Image:
Pic: Conservative Party/Flickr

On Saturday a planned “huddle” with journalists, providing an opportunity for reporters to quiz the prime minister, was pulled with the Tories citing time constraints.

Sky News’ political correspondent Serena Barker-Singh says it shows Mr Sunak is “clearly feeling the pressure”.

She said: “The media haven’t been allowed anywhere near him really.

“We have just been sent some photos from his Flickr account to show proof he has been door-knocking, but that is all the information we have got from him.”

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Opponents have been quick to seize on Mr Sunak’s elusiveness.

Labour frontbencher Jonathan Ashworth said: “If Rishi Sunak is going to come out with yet another desperate wishlist of manifesto proposals this weekend, the least he can do is face up to proper public scrutiny over how he plans to pay for them, what the impact on people’s finances will be, and when he intends to deliver on the first set of pledges he made to the British people 18 months ago.

“But instead, he has spent the day ducking the cameras and dodging all those legitimate questions; just another farcical episode in this calamitous Conservative campaign.”

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It comes as the backlash continued over Mr Sunak’s decision to leave the 80th anniversary events in Normandy early to carry out a TV interview.

In the face of fierce criticism, Mr Sunak was forced to apologise for skipping an international ceremony attended by world leaders including US President Joe Biden to mark the allied landings.

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Speaking to Sky News’ Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips show, cabinet colleague Mel Stride said Mr Sunak recognised he had made a mistake and would be “feeling this very deeply”.

He also insisted the prime minister was “deeply patriotic”.

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Sunak defended as ‘deeply patriotic’ after D-Day blunder

Mr Stride also dismissed the suggestion that Mr Sunak could quit as leader before the 4 July poll.

He said Sunak would “absolutely” lead the party into the election and added: “There should be no question of anything other than that.”

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