The Prime Minister has apologised directly to veterans in the North East and residents in his Richmond constituency, who were left "disgusted" when he skipped a major D-Day event earlier this week. 

On a visit to the walled garden at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, today (Saturday, June 8) Rishi Sunak said he was "deeply sorry" for the hurt caused to his own constituents in Richmond, Northallerton and Catterick Garrison. 

People in the region said they thought the Prime Minister's decision was "disgraceful" on Friday (June 7). 

(Image: Sarah Caldecott)

In Catterick, the largest British Army garrison in the world, the decision has left constituents feeling let down by their MP. 

One resident, who preferred not to be named, said: "It is disgusting to be honest. To not see it through is disgraceful.

"It's an important part of our lives; we wouldn't be here if not for those men."

(Image: Sarah Caldecott)

Mr Sunak has repeatedly apologised for the "mistake".

Speaking today, he said: "It was a mistake and I have apologised. I was privileged to participate in a number of events both in Portsmouth and in France over two days to honour those who put their lives on the line to defend our country and our freedoms 80 years ago. 

"The itinerary had been set a while ago, but it was a mistake not to stay after the British events and after the engagement with British veterans, and for that, I am deeply sorry."

(Image: Sarah Caldecott)

Mike Oxtinks, representing the Darlington Veterans Community, had earlier expressed his shock at the "audacity" of Sunak's response to the situation.

He said: "I think it's disgusting that he has the bare-faced audacity to not give the time to the lads who gave their all for the freedom of democracy."

(Image: Sarah Caldecott)

Mr Sunak disappointed the national media, after an opportunity for other organisations to quiz the Prime Minister did not take place as was originally planned. 

His team cited time constraints as he toured County Durham and North Yorkshire on Saturday's campaign trail, but some national commentators suggested that Mr Sunak appeared to be ducking media questions as criticism continues over his D-Day faux pas.

All further media interviews were cancelled for the day, after Mr Sunak spent much of Friday apologising for the D-Day row. 

Following the Bishop Auckland visit, he attended a village fete in Great Ayton, a North Yorkshire village in his Richmond constituency

(Image: Sarah Caldecott)