Bottomley protests over 'Independent' report

PETER BOTTOMLEY, Conservative MP for Eltham, has asked the Press Complaints Commission to adjudicate on whether a report in yesterday's Independent Diary breached its code of conduct. The report said that Mr Bottomley's son was born three months before he and his wife, Virginia, the Secretary of State for Health, were married.

Mrs Bottomley said it was 'no secret' that she had her son three months before she married. But it was a private family matter she said, adding: 'We maintain our concern to guard the privacy of our children, whom we love dearly and of whom we are very proud.'

Earlier this week Mrs Bottomley, launching the health White Paper, had spoken of the need to curb teenage pregnancies and said: 'Family planning plays an important part in the health of children and the well being of families . . . it is estimated that almost half of all conceptions were in some sense unwanted or unintended.'

Andreas Whittam Smith, editor of the Independent, said last night: 'I don't have any regret of any kind about that story. As Mrs Bottomley speaks to the nation about teenage mothers, it is a significant fact worth recalling that she was once an unwed, teenage mother herself and that she married the father, Peter Bottomley, a few months afterwards. I don't know whether her own pregnancy was unwanted or unintended.' He added: 'I don't think this is a disreputable fact we've unearthed.'

In response to concern that the story would hurt the Bottomley children, Mr Whittam Smith said: 'That's a risk that politicians take when they go into public life.'

Sir Norman Fowler, the Conservative Party chairman, said: 'All of Peter and Virginia's friends will be dismayed at this unjustified intrusion into their family life. It is ironical that the Independent newspaper who first produced this report once claimed that its aim was to set new high standards in journalism.'

Bob Cryer, the Labour MP for Bradford South, said: 'I think when people are in public life they must expect to be targets of press scrutiny, particularly government ministers, but I don't think there is any need to rake over the past in a way that is potentially malicious.'

A single mothers' group called on Mrs Bottomley to use her own experience in approaching the issue of single parenthood. Sue Monk, of the National Council for One Parent Families, said: 'We don't wish to comment on individual cases, but in considering policies on single mothers we hope Mrs Bottomley would use her own experience to develop a sympathetic and imaginative approach.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all