UK's Sunak scotches resignation talk after D-Day row

Published at : 10 June 2024, 08:26 pm
UK's Sunak scotches resignation talk after D-Day row
Photo: Collected

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday dismissed rumours that he would quit before the July 4 general election, as criticism about his early departure from D-Day commemoration events rumbled on, reports AFP.

The Conservative leader issued an apology after outrage from veterans' groups that he declined to join other world leaders at an event in northern France to mark the 80th anniversary of the invasion.

His decision to instead record a television interview, which also prompted criticism from his own colleagues, was the latest misstep on the campaign trial for the vote.

But Sunak, whom opinion polls predict will lead the Tories to a shuddering defeat to the main opposition Labour party, was defiant. "People are gonna say what they're gonna say," he said.

He warned against thinking the election result was a foregone conclusion, and said he had battled back from adversity before, notably after an internal Tory leadership defeat to Liz Truss in 2022.

"The reality is I'm not going to stop going, I'm not going to stop fighting for people's votes, I'm not going to stop fighting for the future of our country," he added on a campaign stop.

Sunak had until January next year at the latest to call a general election but decided to do so early as inflation slowed, indicating a turnaround in the parlous state of the country's economy.

The announcement -- made during a downpour in Downing Street -- took his own party by surprise, sending it scrabbling to find candidates to stand in the 650 parliamentary seats up for grabs.

Other unforced errors before the D-Day decision included a campaign stop near where the Titanic was built, prompting comparisons of his leadership to the captain of a sinking ship.

Sunak, a 44-year-old former financier who has been prime minister since Truss's short-lived tenure, has also faced questions about the veracity of his repeated claims about Labour's personal tax plans.

He will likely face further scrutiny as the Tories, in power since 2010, publish their formal policy proposals on Tuesday.

Labour launches its manifesto on Thursday. Party leader Keir Starmer on Monday said there would be "no tax surprises" in it for working people.



Explosion kills 34 at illegal fuel depot in Benin

Published at : 24 September 2023, 02:43 pm
Explosion kills 34 at illegal fuel depot in Benin

At least 34 people, including two babies were killed when a contraband fuel depot exploded into flames in southern Benin near the border with Nigeria on Saturday.

According to Beninese Interior Minister Alassane Seidou, “a serious fire occurred in the town of Seme Podji. Another 20 people were seriously wounded in the incident.”

"I can't really give you the cause of the fire, but there is a large gasoline warehouse here and cars, tricycles and motorcycles come from morning to evening,” he added.

Nigeria is a main oil and gas producer where fuel smuggling is very common along its borders, particularly when the government maintains a subsidy to keep fuel prices low.

The majority of the victims were burnt and they could not be not be identified.


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Published at : 16 September 2023, 06:28 am
Why do we use it?

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