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British PM Sunak apologizes for leaving D-Day event early for election campaign | NHK

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apologized after facing criticism for leaving the D-Day commemorations in France early for a TV election interview at home.

Sunak participated in a British-led event held on Thursday morning to mark the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings that helped end World War Two. But he skipped a major event in the afternoon that was attended by other world leaders.

This drew condemnation from veterans and others, who accused the prime minister of prioritizing his election campaign over soldiers who sacrificed themselves for their country.

Sunak issued an apology on Friday, saying that it was a mistake not to stay in France longer.

He is now facing a new setback ahead of the general election next month, as polls suggest his Conservative Party is facing an uphill battle.

The deadline for candidate nominations for the election closed on Friday. Local media say there were 344 Conservatives in parliament before dissolution, but 75 of them have chosen not to run in the upcoming election.

Among them was former prime minister Theresa May, who had earlier announced her retirement, but many are believed to have decided to stand down as they appear unlikely to win reelection.

In the 1997 general election, in which the Conservative Party lost power, 72 lawmakers from the party stood down.

Observers say the main opposition Labour Party regaining power for the first time in 14 years is becoming a real possibility.

Read More:British PM Sunak apologizes for leaving D-Day event early for election campaign | NHK