An Enniskillen man who served as a leading advisor to the Conservative Party has quit the party following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's decision to leave D-Day Commemoration early.

Ian Acheson, who has advised Michael Gove on extremism, said the Prime Minister’s choice to leave for a TV interview ahead of the upcoming election was a “colossal act of disrespect” to the war veterans at what could be the last event they attend.

In a resignation letter, Mr. Acheson described Mr. Sunak's action as "an act of either colossal stupidity or cynical calculation."

He stated: “Either way, it revealed to me that while I still embrace a conservative philosophy, I am no longer willing to have it outsourced to a bunch of mendacious, incompetent and disreputable clowns.  “Country before party. Always.”

Mr. Acheson, whose uncle fought in the Second World War said: "These guys [veterans] are not going to be around for the next anniversary. For him to decide to go back to pre-record an interview defending the indefensible is simply unforgivable.”

Mr. Acheson, a former prison governor previously advised Michael Gove on extremism and set out a new definition of non-violent extremism.  He now works nationally and internationally advising governments on countering violent extremism and prison reform.

A visiting professor at Staffordshire University, he is a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project and recently authored his first book, 'Screwed: Britain’s Prison Crisis and How To Escape It'.