A senior figure in the Conservative party has called the last few weeks the “worst campaign in my lifetime” in a damning assessment of Rishi Sunak’s gaffe-filled general election campaign. It all started when the Prime MInister stood outside Number 10 getting drenched by rain as he announced the snap election to the sound of ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ in the background. Who knew that such a litany of further blunders were to follow..

1. Tory plants in the audience 

Following one the Prime Minister’s earliest campaign visits to a warehouse in Derbyshire, it came to light that two of the supposed workers asking questions to Rishi Sunak were, in fact, Tory councillors dressed in high-vis jackets. The Tory politicians unsurprisingly gave the PM unchallenging questions, however their identities were revealed and Sunak was accused of “faking it” for the blunder. 

2. Titanic visit

On day two of his campaign, someone in Sunak’s team had the bright idea that he should make a visit to Belfast’s Titanic quarter. Cue the comparisons to the Prime Minister being the captain of a sinking ship, put to him by journalists during his visit, and an avalanche of mockery. It didn’t help that he was pictured standing under an exit sign on his plane ride home, not quite leading to the coverage he would have hoped.

“You sent him to WHERE?” https://t.co/bUkTFFNwEr pic.twitter.com/V9x5dSvcoe

— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) May 24, 2024

“You sent him to WHERE?” https://t.co/bUkTFFNwEr pic.twitter.com/V9x5dSvcoe

— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) May 24, 2024

3. D-Day exit

The mega blunder came from Rishi Sunak’s decision to leave commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day early, in order to take part in a TV interview. The fallout and public outrage from this decision stretched on and on and the PM was forced to admit that he had made a “mistake” for leaving before a major international ceremony attended by world leaders including Joe Biden. 

4. Going without.. Sky TV 

Hopefully the ITV interview was worth all the bad press.. Er, unfortunately for Sunak, the first clip to come out from his ITV interview that he skipped the rest of D-Day commemorations for, showed him saying he “went without all sorts of things” when he was young, “famously Sky TV.” Sunak was well and truly rinsed for his comments as viewers branded the PM extremely out of touch and having no idea about real sacrifice and hardship.  

5. Betting scandal

However along came something arguably even worse than the D-Day blunder, a betting scandal that further threw into question the Conservative Party’s integrity. Weeks of the campaign period were engulfed by the scandal which involved allegations around a number of Tory insiders placing bets on the date of the general election. Rishi Sunak faced criticism for not dealing with the problem more robustly and suspending those allegedly involved sooner, with the scandal clouding his final weeks of campaigning.

(Image credit: The Conservative Party / Flickr)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

The post 5 worst moments from Rishi Sunak’s general election campaign appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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