PM says he loves country ‘deeply’ in response to Farage’s ‘culture’ comments

Rishi Sunak has said he loves the UK “deeply” after being accused of not understanding “our culture” by Nigel Farage.

The Reform UK leader made the suggestion after the Prime Minister left the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations in Normandy before the main international event.

Mr Farage suggested his comments were in relation to the Prime Minister’s “class” rather than his background as the child of immigrants.

But Cabinet minister Mel Stride said he was “very uncomfortable” with the comments, while shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood said they were “completely unacceptable”.

D-Day 80th anniversary

Speaking to broadcasters during an campaign visit in London, Mr Sunak said: “I love this country deeply for what it has done for my family.

“My grandparents emigrated here with very little and two generations later I have the enormous privilege of being our Prime Minister.

“And that’s why I will work my hardest to repay this country for everything that it has done for my family.”

In the wake of Mr Sunak’s departure before the international event, Mr Farage claimed the Prime Minister “doesn’t really care about our history, he doesn’t really care – frankly – about our culture”.

General Election campaign 2024
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage (Tim Markland/PA)

Asked what he meant by that on BBC1’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, he said: “I know what your question is leading at – 40% of our contribution in World War One and World War Two came from the Commonwealth.

“He is utterly disconnected by class, by privilege, from how the ordinary folk in this country feel.

“He revealed that, I think spectacularly, when he left Normandy early.

“Out there now there are millions and millions of people who were Conservative voters, traditional Conservative voters, not the red-wallers, who are now thinking ‘Do we go on supporting the Conservatives or do we support Reform?’

“This is going to be, I think, the acid test of this election.”