Tory donates to Labour candidate’s D-Day fundraiser after questioning France visit

Tory donates to Labour candidate’s D-Day fundraiser after questioning France visit

Related video: Rishi Sunak issues apology after skipping D-Day event for TV interview

GB News Videos / VideoElephant

Rishi Sunak isn’t the only Conservative to have suffered a shocking and humiliating PR disaster around D-Day this week, as a Tory councillor in Southend has issued an apology and donated to a Labour candidate’s D-Day fundraiser after questioning why he was in France during the general election campaign period.

In a post to Twitter/X on Saturday, since deleted, Daniel Nelson wrote: “Fantastic door knocking sessions today. Message from residents is clear, they are fearful of the increase cost [sic] Labour will onflict [sic] on them and their families.

“Great to be with [Gavin Haran] in the constituency talking to residents. Is the Labour candidate still in France?”

The “Labour candidate” to which Nelson is referring – and which Haran is up against – is Bayo Alaba, both of whom are hoping to succeed Sir James Duddridge as the MP for Southend East and Rochford after he stood down last month.

Alaba is a former parachute regiment soldier, and as this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings, he previously announced he would be doing a parachute jump into the French region on Saturday to raise money for the Royal British Legion and mental health charity Trust Links.

His GoFundMe page also states he will take part in a second parachute jump to commemorate the Battle of Arnhem’s airborne operation.

And so, needless to say, Alaba was busy in France preparing for an impressive challenge to commemorate the anniversary, and social media users soon pointed this out to Nelson and condemned his criticism:

As the backlash continued, Nelson initially defended his initial post, adding: “Blimey, it was only a question.”

This tweet has also been deleted since.

Then on Sunday, Nelson issued a short statement, in which he said: “I wholeheartedly apologise to @BayoAlaba. I absolutely support his decision to be in France.

“As a brother of a serving member of the armed forces I understand the sacrifice of our veterans and would never want to disrespect that in any way.

“I have donated to Bayo’s campaign as the charities he was raising for are incredibly worthy causes.”

The list of donations on Alaba’s fundraiser shows Nelson chipped in £15 earlier that day, and details a noticeable spike in donations in the past 24 hours as the fallout on Twitter escalated.

Alaba has now secured more than double his donation target, as it stands at just over £8,000 from 393 donations at the time of writing.

Nelson’s apology comes just days after Sunak apologised for leaving D-Day commemorations early on Thursday in order to jet back to the UK for a political interview with ITV’s Tonight programme.

““This anniversary should be about those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The last thing I want is for the commemorations to be overshadowed by politics.

““I care deeply about veterans and have been honoured to represent the UK at a number of events in Portsmouth and France over the past two days and to meet those who fought so bravely.

“After the conclusion of the British event in Normandy, I returned back to the UK. On reflection, it was a mistake not to stay in France longer – and I apologise,” he said.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)