Ed Miliband’s Sun endorsement ‘will not happen again’

Ed Miliband has promised not to repeat his endorsement of The Sun newspaper, after suffering a tide of criticism from his own party.

Liverpool councillor Peter Mitchell held a half-hour meeting with the Labour leader, after threatening to resign from the party in protest at Miliband's endorsement last week.

Mitchell claims that Miliband expressed "genuine" regret for posing with the paper and promised not to repeat his mistake.

"Ed was moved and upset," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"He was very sincere and he apologised. He apologised again. He was genuinely sorry and contrite for what he did. He upset an awful lot of natural Labour supporters by his actions and it’s a lesson learnt by him and his aides. I think he was badly advised."

"He said that it would not happen again. I don’t think he will pose with it again. I absolutely believe that he won’t promote or pose with The Sun again."

Miliband's decision to endorse the Sun caused particular fury in Liverpool last week, due to the city's long-standing boycott of the paper following its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

The city's Labour mayor Joe Anderson accused Miliband of insulting the people of Liverpool.

His meeting with Mitchell follows a remarkable interview with Labour Deputy leader Harriet Harman, in which she sought to defend Miliband's endorsement of the paper.

Harman said that Miliband had been right to pose with a copy of the paper but also right to apologise for having done so.

"He stands by his decision to do it, but he also recognises the depth of the feeling that there is in Merseyside," she told LBC.

"He was right to pose for it and he was right to recognise.

"I don't think it did show him as a weak leader," she added.

Labour's former general election campaign chief Tom Watson, also claimed that Miliband had been hoodwinked into posing with the paper by his advisers.