UK & World News

  • 13 June 2014, 21:40

Miliband 'Sorry' Over World Cup Sun Picture

Ed Miliband has apologised to the people of Liverpool for posing with a copy of the Sun Newspaper, saying he "is sorry to those who feel offended".

The Labour leader helped promote a World Cup edition on Thursday which was being sent free to 22 million homes.

In a staged photograph, strongly criticised on Twitter, he is seen holding up the paper with the headline "This Is Our England".

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage also joined the promotion.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "Ed Miliband was promoting England's bid to win the World Cup and is proud to do so.

"But he understands the anger that is felt towards The Sun over Hillsborough by many people in Merseyside and he is sorry to those who feel offended."

A Liverpool Labour councillor, Martin Cummins, has confirmed to Sky News he has resigned after the image emerged. Mr Cummins, who represents Croxteth, told the Liverpool Echo the picture had "rocked me to my core" and suggested that Mr Milibandhad "listened to unwise counsel".

Many in Liverpool will never forgive The Sun's reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy and comments it made about the fans' behaviour for which the paper later apologised, saying they were "inaccurate and offensive".

The blunder has raised more questions about how well MrMiliband is being advised and comes after much lampooned images of him eating a bacon sandwich.

But critics say the larger question is whether he is out of touch with Labour voters.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, earlier attacked the Labour leader for associating himself with the paper.

In a statement he wrote: "My city was offended and insulted by the lies and smears peddled by The S*n and their hindrance to our fight for justice is something that will never be forgotten."

"For the leader of the Labour Party to make such an offensive gesture insults not only me but every person in the city.

"This is just another example of how out of touch the politicians in their ivory towers are from the lives of ordinary people.

"It begs the question - were the comments he made after the Hillsborough panel report sincere or just sound bites?"

None of the other party leaders felt the need to apologise for their involvement in the promotion.

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