David Cameron says he ‘doesn’t feel sorry’ for Rishi Sunak having to defend Tory record in government

Lord David Cameron said Rishi Sunak is a ‘very effective prime minister’ who wants to ‘go on doing his job’

Joe Middleton
Thursday 13 June 2024 10:58 BST
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Lord David Cameron has said that he doesn’t feel sorry for Rishi Sunak in having to defend the Tories 14-year record in government.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the foreign secretary was asked if he feels sympathy for Mr Sunak as he has to account for the premierships of Theresa May, Boris Johnson Liz Truss and Lord Cameron himself.

At the Sky News debate on Wednesday evening, Mr Sunak was grilled about the Tories’s record over the last 14 years in power and tried to defend himself by saying he had only been prime minister for 18 months.

Former prime minister Lord Cameron said: “What I feel about Rishi Sunak is that he’s a very capable prime minister.

“I don’t feel sorry for him because he’s a very effective prime minister who wants to go on doing his job.”

The foreign secretary also admitted that the latest polls don’t “look good” for the Tories, but added “they didn’t look very good in 2015 when I won the election”.

The prime minister fields questions from a Grimsby audience on Wednesday night
The prime minister fields questions from a Grimsby audience on Wednesday night (Getty Images)

A poll of almost 60,000 voters by pollsters YouGov has projected Labour is on course for a historic 194-seat majority, eclipsing even the 179 seat margin of victory they achieved in Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lord Cameron also defended Mr Sunak’s controversial decision to leave D-Day events early and pointed to the government’s record of supporting veterans.

He said: “Prime ministers have to make lots of difficult decisions about when to go to things, and when to leave things, and who to see and all the rest of it.

“And to be fair to Rishi, he went to the key event in Portsmouth with all of the D-Day veterans in the UK, and then he went to the key event above the British Normandy beaches, that was again a beautiful event and he met lots of veterans there.

“Then he left to go back to the UK and then immediately said he had made a mistake and he had wished he had stayed, and I think we should should leave it there. Because that’s the sort of guy he is, he made a mistake, instead of digging in and defending it, he said: ‘actually, no, no, I got that one wrong I should’ve stayed’.”

At the Sky News debate Mr Sunak repeated his apology for leaving D-Day commemorations early in order to record an interview with ITV.

Almost a week on from the commemorations, he said: “I was incredibly sad to have caused people hurt and upset, that was the last thing that I wanted to do. I hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

The prime minister’s decision drew the ire of 98-year-old Normandy veteran Ken Hay, who suggested the move “lets the country down”.

Lord Cameron also used his media round to channel his inner Gino D'Acampo when responding to a question about what he would do if the Tories lost the general election.

He said: “If my mother had wheels she’d be a bicycle, I don’t answer questions beginning with the word if.”

Lord Cameron was seemingly referring to the time the Italian chef told his Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby “If my grandmother had wheels she would have been a bike,” as his dish was likened to a “British carbonara.”

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