Rishi's election own goal: PM makes football gaffe on visit to Welsh brewery

23 May 2024, 13:50 | Updated: 23 May 2024, 14:35

Wales failed to qualify after losing the play-off final to Poland on penalties
Wales failed to qualify after losing the play-off final to Poland on penalties. Picture: alamy

By Will Conroy

Rishi Sunak asked Welsh voters if they’re looking forward to “all the football” despite Wales failing to qualify for the European Championship this summer, as he started his General Election campaign.

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The Prime Minister was asking staff at a brewery in Barry if they were looking forward to the potential revenue of the tournament.

One of the workers was quick to correct him on his mishap, following Wales’ play-off final defeat to Poland in March.

This comes as Mr Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer began their campaigns after the Tory leader called an election for 4 July on Wednesday afternoon.

LIVE election updates: Battle for votes begins as parties kick off campaigns ahead of General Election

Rishi Sunak speaks to workers in Wales

Ahead of his footballing faux pas, Mr Sunak told the brewery staff they were "part of a proper industry that we're keen to support".

Meanwhile, Mr Starmer was joined by supporters at Gillingham Football Club in Kent, where he said "nothing will change" if the Tories get another five years in charge.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner during a visit to Gillingham Football club.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner during a visit to Gillingham Football club. Picture: Alamy

The Prime Minister’s campaign was already off to a rocky start after he delivered the election announcement in the pouring rain while being drowned out by D:Ream’s ‘Things Can Only Better’.

Well-known Westminster campaigner Steve Bray fired New Labour’s 1997 anthem across the announcement on Wednesday, which could be heard over international broadcasts.

The Prime Minister also admitted to LBC on Thursday morning that no Rwanda deportation flights will take off prior to the General Election in July.

Read more: Rishi rolls the dice: Soaked Sunak goes for summer poll as he announces General Election will take place on July 4

Read more: Prankster behind Sunak's 'Things Can Only Get Wetter' moment 'banned from Parliament' after drowning out speech

Speaking to Nick Ferrari this morning, Mr Sunak said that the first flights will take off ‘in July’, but refused to be drawn on the exact date.

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said in response that his comments showed the Rwanda plan was a "con".

During his Downing Street speech, Mr Sunak declared the election as "the moment for Britain to choose its future" and said it will take place at a time "when the world is more dangerous than it has been since the end of the Cold War".

He also took the opportunity to attack Mr Starmer, accusing him of "taking the easy way out".

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