Ed Miliband ‘very sorry’ for endorsing The Sun
Ed Miliband has been forced to make a humiliating apology after being photographed endorsing The Sun Newspaper.
The photograph of the Labour leader holding a copy of The Sun's England special, caused huge anger among his own supporters and party members yesterday.
The picture caused particular fury in Liverpool, where the paper has suffered a widespread boycott ever since it's coverage of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989.
The city's Labour mayor lashed out at Miliband yesterday afternoon, accusing him of 'insulting' the people of Liverpool.
"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," Joe Anderson wrote in a statement.
"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?"
Miliband was also confronted by a number of Labour MPs, including Steve Rotheram, MP for Liverpool Walton.
One source told the Liverpool Echo that Miliband had apologised to the MPs.
"[Miliband] was left in no doubt whatsoever about what they thought," the source said.
"Ed Miliband said he was very, very sorry."
Miliband also faced calls to stand down as leader of the party.
Liverpool councillor Peter Mitchell said he was "appalled" by Miliband's endorsement.
"Being a survivor of Hillsborough and having been in the cage behind the goal in Leppings Lane I have never been so appalled in my life of having seen the photo of Ed Miliband holding The Sun," he said.
“He should be thoroughly ashamed of his actions. I think he should consider his position as leader of Labour Party."
Miliband today issued an official apology to "those who feel offended" by the photo.
"Ed Miliband was promoting England’s bid to win the World Cup and is proud to do so," a spokesperson said.
"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."
Miliband's photo opportunity yesterday appeared to be part of a wider attempt to win approval from the newspaper.
Just last month, Miliband took part in an interview and photo opportunity with 'The Sun cabbie' in advance of the European elections.
However, it was the timing of this new photograph, on the day that 22 million copies of the paper were sent to every household in the country that seems to have sparked such fury among his party.
Across the country, Labour supporters put up notices asking for the paper not to be delivered through their door, while in Liverpool, many postal workers staged a boycott.
The endorsement also caused a storm online, where photographs of Miliband's photo opportunity were contrasted with Miliband's previous stance on phone-hacking and News International.
Ed Miliband taking on the Murdoch empire: pic.twitter.com/0d8Wupqduf
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 12, 2014