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
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: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue