Carry on campaigning: Rishi Sunak vows to 'fight on' and says he won't quit despite polling - and D-Day fiasco

10 June 2024, 11:28

Rishi Sunak has said he won't quit and the election is not a foregone conclusion
Rishi Sunak has said he won't quit and the election is not a foregone conclusion. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Rishi Sunak has defiantly said he will carry on 'fighting' to win the election as he insisted the result is not a foregone conclusion.

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On the campaign trail today, Mr Sunak said he was still fighting - despite polls consistently showing he is 20 points behind.

He said: “People are gonna say what they’re gonna say; what I’m doing is fighting very hard for every vote. I will keep doing that until the last day of this campaign.

"And I am very confident in the actions that we’re putting forward for the British people,” he said.

“There’s lots of people who want to write me off, write this off, say this campaign or the election is a foregone conclusion. They’ve been saying that, by the way, since I’ve gotten this job. But the reality is, I’m not going to stop going. I’m not going to stop fighting for the future of our country. I believe in what we are doing.”

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The PM vowed to fight on until the last day of the election campaign
The PM vowed to fight on until the last day of the election campaign. Picture: Alamy

Mr Sunak also said “of course not” when asked if he considered quitting ahead of the election amid the fallout of the D-Day fiasco - and insisted he is “energised” and finding “enormous amount of support” for the policies he has put forward.

He also re-iterated an apology for leaving D-Day anniversary events early.

He said: “I just hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

“I apologise unreservedly for the mistake that I made and I just hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me and look at my actions that I've taken as Prime Minister both to support our armed forces and increase in defence spending but also have a minister focused on veterans' affairs around the Cabinet table making sure this is the best country in the world to be a veteran," Mr Sunak said.

On rumours he might quit, Mr Sunak said: "People are gonna say what they're gonna say"
On rumours he might quit, Mr Sunak said: "People are gonna say what they're gonna say". Picture: Alamy

He was criticised for skipping part of the D-Day anniversary ceremony to go back to the UK for an interview.

He left to give a television interview to defend comments he'd made about Labour's tax plans, which have been criticised by a watchdog.

To give the interview he had to leave commemoration events in Normandy before world leaders gathered on Omaha Beach.

Mr Sunak had spoken earlier in the D-Day programme to pay tribute to veterans. His rival for Downing Street, Keir Starmer, stayed behind at the event.

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Mr Sunak's absence for part of the ceremony sparked disbelief from onlookers in the armed forces.

Colonel Richard Kemp told the Mirror: "I know there is a General Election campaign to fight but this is a very significant anniversary of a major military achievement which led to freedom in Europe.

"It’s being attended by some of the veterans who may never attend another due to their age. I think it was very important that he showed his commitment to it.

"He should have stayed. As the PM of our country he should have been there to represent the country and to show our gratitude to those who fell."

Colonel Hamish de Bretton Gordon, a retired army officer, said: "It's a great disappointment. What could be more important than respecting the people who gave their lives for this country?"

Mr Sunak also faced questions about rumours he might quit as Prime Minister before polling day.

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"People are gonna say what they're gonna say," he told reporters on the campaign trail in West Sussex.

"I am very confident in the actions that we're putting forward for the British people.

"I'm confident they will deliver a more secure future for people. There are lots of people who want to write me off, write this off, say this campaign or the election is a foregone conclusion.

"They've been saying that, by the way, ever since I've got this job, right? Not since this election campaign."

Mr Sunak added: "The reality is I'm not going to stop going, I'm not going to stop fighting for people's votes, I'm not going to stop fighting for the future of our country.

"I believe in what we are doing deeply. I think our country is at an important moment, we're at a crossroads, and that's why I called this election because, having restored economic stability, this is the moment to really think about how we can deliver a more secure future for everyone."

He also said he’s not really ‘interested in Reform,’ after Nigel Farage took over the party’s leadership and announced he would stand as an MP in Clacton.

“I’m not really interested in Reform, quite frankly, I'm interested in delivering for the British people with the agenda that I'm setting out,” Mr Sunak said.

“People who are thinking of voting for Reform, the questions they should ask themselves is, if you care about tackling migration and bringing it down, if you want a more proportionate approach to net zero, if you want your taxes cut, if you want your pension protected, those are all things that I'm going to offer and the Conservatives will do.

“Keir Starmer doesn't believe in any of those things. And ultimately, I don't think people are thinking about voting Reform want to see Keir Starmer in power."

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