The UK Sun unpublished a list of “Top 10 laziest MPs” (MPs are Parliament members) after including a Parliament member who was on maternity leave.
Lucy Powell, one of the MPs included on the Sun‘s list, slammed the tabloid on Twitter for its “shoddy ‘journalism'” in listing her as “lazy.” She wrote:
“What shoddy “journalism” @Sun_Politics I’m in their top 10 “lazy” MP list, presumably on voting record. Fails to mention I was on mat leave.”
She noted that “Other MP’s on that list have v serious illnesses @Sun_Politics” and that she wanted a print apology from the newspaper.
Powell furher commented about the Sun article to the BBC. She explained that the the Sun “based their analysis on my voting record,” a poor measurement given that she “had a few months off from Parliament this year because I’ve been on maternity leave and I’ve had a baby.”
The Sun, published by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., is the largest circulating daily newspaper in the United Kingdom.
Powell said she continued “lots of other aspects of her job” during her leave but didn’t physically vote. Regardless, “It [a voting record] is not a measure anyway of how effective you are as an MP, but in my case what made it worse is I was an MP having a baby,” Powell told the BBC. “The fact that they couldn’t take this into account just shows what a poor piece of research it really was.”
In a Dec. 14 tweet in response, the Sun‘s Politics account apologized.
Our apologies to @LucyMPowell for including her on list of the 10 laziest MPs while on maternity leave. Story taken down + under review.
— Sun Politics (@Sun_Politics) December 14, 2013
The Sun published an apology on Page 2 Dec. 18. The apology reads:
“On 14 December we published an article listing the ‘laziest MPs’ based on their voting record. We acknowledge that Lucy Powell MP was absent during some of the concerned voting period due to being on maternity leave. It was therefore wrong for us to say that she is lazy. We have therefore withdrawn the article and apologise to Ms Powell and others listed.”
Powell also posted a photo of the apology from the print edition.
We’ve written to the Sun‘s ombudsman asking for more information about its report and its apologies. We’ll update with any response.
Hat Tip: Mediaite