Sun apologises after branding pregnant MP Lucy Powell ‘lazy’

List of the 'Top 10 laziest MPs' also allegedly included politicians with 'very serious illnesses'

The Sun newspaper has been forced to apologise after it included a pregnant MP in its list of the “laziest” politicians.

Lucy Powell, the Labour MP for Manchester Central, said she realised she was included in the newspaper’s “Top 10 laziest MPs” list when she began receiving texts and Twitter messages yesterday.

The list was apparently based on records of how often politicians “turned up to vote in the Commons”, but reportedly included those with “very serious illnesses” alongside Ms Powell, who spent some of the period in question on maternity leave.

The online version of the article containing the list has since been taken down, and the newspaper’s Politics Twitter profile (@Sun_Politics) wrote: “Our apologies to @LucyMPowell for including her on list of the 10 laziest MPs while on maternity leave.”

The Sun added that the article was now “under review” – and Ms Powell said she expects a full printed apology early next week.

Speaking to the BBC, she said she was “appalled” to be described as lazy, adding that “nothing could be further from the truth”.

“I realised they had based their analysis on my voting record,” Ms Powell said.

“Of course, I've had a few months off from Parliament this year because I've been on maternity leave and I've had a baby.

“While I was having a baby I was still doing all of my constituency case work and lots of other aspects of my job, I just wasn't going down to London to actually vote because I had been paired (a system where two MPs from opposing parties agree to miss a vote).”

Ms Powell said the fact that the article had not taken her maternity leave into account “shows what a poor piece of research it really was”.

And she wrote on Twitter: “Other MP's on that list have v serious illnesses @Sun_Politics”

Other Twitter users rallied round to defend Ms Powell. Fellow Labour MP Graham Jones described the list as “shocking”, while the House of Lords peer and 11-times Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “There is so much more to politics than just voting…”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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: Bathroom Showroom Customer Service / Sales Assistant

£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Manager

£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...

Recruitment Genius: IT Installation / Commissioning Engineer - North West

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Installation / Commission...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence