RISHI Sunak’s decision to leave D-Day commemorations early is seen as “unacceptable” by two-thirds of the UK public, including a majority of 2019 Tory voters, a new poll has found.

The Conservative leader has found himself in hot water after he chose to ditch an international memorial of the historic invasion of France, which ultimately liberated the nation from Nazi rule.

Instead of attending, Sunak returned to the UK to conduct an interview with ITV – which the broadcaster has said Downing Street set the time of.

A snap YouGov survey of almost 6000 UK adults found that 43% of people said Sunak’s decision to leave the D-Day event was “completely unacceptable”, while a further 22% said it was “unacceptable”.

Among people who voted for the Tories in 2019, 43% said it was “completely unacceptable”, while 25% said it was “unacceptable”.

Just 21% of the UK public, and 27% of 2019 Tory voters, said the decision was either “completely acceptable” or “acceptable”.

(Image: YouGov)

The decision has been derided by people even with the Conservative party, with Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer saying he understood the “outrage” at the “significant mistake”.

Speaking at Alba's campaign launch in Glasgow on Friday, former first minister Alex Salmond quipped that the Tory leader should make sure his advisers are not working against him on purpose.

Sunak's decision is likely to cut through particularly acutely with the Tories’ voter base, and has been widely seen as a defining moment in Sunak’s already poor General Election campaign.

The FT’s chief UK political commentator Robert Shrimsley wrote on social media: “Hearing consistently now that the D-Day error has absolutely cut through to voters and is already being brought up frequently on doorsteps.”

Others reported that pollsters had seen dips in the Tories’ support after Sunak’s decision, although no polls have yet been released with the fieldwork conducted after the event – other than the snap YouGov question.

Polling expert Mark McGeoghegan said that the Conservatives could see their support hit just 15%.

Sunak has insisted he “stuck to the itinerary that had been set for me as Prime Minister weeks ago”, suggesting he had never intended to go to the centrepiece of the D-Day commemorations, even before he called the election.

“On reflection, that was a mistake and I apologise”, Sunak said, as he urged people not to “politicise this”.

A stinging rebuke came from Normandy veteran Ken Hay, 98, who said “he lets the country down”.

YouGov surveyed 5778 UK voters on June 7.