Last night (June 7) saw the second political debate aired live on TV, ahead of the general election on July 4.

During the seven-way BBC discussion on Friday, Penny Mordaunt said the Prime Minister’s decision to leave the D-Day 80th anniversary events early to record a general election campaign TV interview was “completely wrong”.

It comes as Rishi Sunak apologised for his decision to leave France before a major international ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Allied landings but urged people not to politicise the event.

He admitted that “on reflection” he should have stayed for the event where world leaders including US President Joe Biden marked the sacrifice made by troops landing on the Normandy beaches in 1944.

@uktoday_ All the UK General Election dates for your diary. You're welcome. #uknews #ukgeneralelection #generalelection #uknewsheadlines ♬ original sound - UKToday 🇬🇧 Newsquest

Penny Mordaunt wants all veterans to feel 'completely treasured'

Ms Mordaunt, a Navy reservist, said it was right that Rishi Sunak apologised not only to veterans but to the public, although she added it should not become “a political football”.

The Commons leader commented: “What happened was completely wrong, and the Prime Minister has rightly apologised for that, apologised to veterans but also to all of us, because he was representing all of us.

“I’m from Portsmouth, I have also been defence secretary and my wish is at the end of this week is that all of our veterans feel completely treasured.”

Asked if she would have left Normandy early as Mr Sunak did on Thursday (June 6), Ms Mordaunt explained: “I didn’t go to D-Day, I think what happened was very wrong, I think the Prime Minister has apologised for that.

“But what I also think is important is we honour their legacy, they fought for our freedom, and unless we are spending the right amount on defence we can’t honour that legacy.”

She later added: “I don’t want this issue to become a political football.”

Recommended reading:

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage replied: “Well, it already is. It already is because the veterans themselves are speaking out saying he’s let the country down.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “A Prime Minister who puts his own political career before public service is no Prime Minister at all.

“So it’s incumbent upon all of us to do our national service and vote the Tories out of office.”