U.K. opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband apologized for appearing in a photograph promoting News Corp.’s Sun newspaper after an outcry from activists.
Miliband was pictured yesterday holding a copy of a special edition of The Sun distributed free across the country in support of the England soccer team to mark the start of the World Cup in Brazil.
The Labour mayor of the northwest English city of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, condemned Miliband’s backing for the Sun, calling it “deeply shocking” in a statement. Sales of the Sun collapsed in the city over its coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough soccer disaster in which 96 Liverpool FC fans were killed.
“Ed Miliband was promoting England’s bid to win the World Cup and is proud to do so,” Labour said in an e-mailed statement today. “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.”
It’s the latest in a series of gaffes by the Labour leader in recent weeks. In the run-up to last month’s local and European elections, he was unable during an interview with a radio station in Swindon, western England, to identify his party’s local leader and appeared unaware the authority was Conservative-led. He was also mocked on social media for a photograph that showed his face contorted while eating a bacon sandwich.